Dealing with Eyelid Droop

As you age, it is not uncom­mon for one or both eye­lids to begin to sag or droop. This con­di­tion is known as pto­sis, and can be caused by a vari­ety of fac­tors includ­ing your age, an injury, or anoth­er med­ical con­di­tion. In addi­tion to the vis­i­ble sag­ging, you may also expe­ri­ence sore­ness or aching around your eyes, and your face may appear tired.

In some cas­es, pto­sis can resolve on its own, while in oth­ers, it may require med­ical inter­ven­tion. Pro­longed peri­ods of droop­ing or severe droop­ing, espe­cial­ly in the upper eye­lids, may impair your vision. If you are expe­ri­enc­ing vision prob­lems as a result of pto­sis, you may find your­self tilt­ing your head in order to see and while speaking.

Droopy eye­lids are most com­mon­ly found in old­er adults. This is because as we age, the mus­cle respon­si­ble for lift­ing your eye­lid can become stretched or weak­en. A trau­ma or acute injury to the eye area can also cause eye­lids to sag or droop. In some cas­es, droop­ing eye­lids can be a symp­tom of an under­ly­ing, some­times seri­ous neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tion, includ­ing a stroke, brain tumor, or oth­er nerve con­di­tion. Chil­dren may be born with a droopy eye­lid due to devel­op­men­tal com­pli­ca­tions, although this is rare.

You should noti­fy your pri­ma­ry care physi­cian if you notice your eye­lids are droop­ing to rule out any under­ly­ing med­ical issues, espe­cial­ly if the droop­ing is accom­pa­nied by migraine headaches or oth­er symp­toms. Your doc­tor will take into con­sid­er­a­tion the dura­tion and sever­i­ty of your symp­toms, per­form a phys­i­cal exam, and review your med­ical his­to­ry to deter­mine if addi­tion­al test­ing or refer­ral to an eye spe­cial­ist is needed.

The treat­ment for pto­sis varies depend­ing on the cause and sever­i­ty. In gen­er­al, the con­di­tion is not con­sid­ered harm­ful to your over­all health. If your symp­toms are not severe and do not impair your vision, treat­ment may not be need­ed. Some indi­vid­u­als with pto­sis may elect for cos­met­ic surgery to cor­rect the appear­ance of droop­ing eye­lids. If the droop­ing is severe enough to impact your abil­i­ty to see, med­ical treat­ment, includ­ing surgery, is typ­i­cal­ly recommended.

There is no way to pre­vent eye­lids from droop­ing, how­ev­er reg­u­lar eye exams and mon­i­tor­ing for symp­toms can help you iden­ti­fy and address the con­di­tion quick­er. If you are expe­ri­enc­ing issues with eye­lid droop, make an appoint­ment with an oph­thal­mol­o­gist by call­ing 630−322−8300 or online at www​.duly​healthand​care​.com/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​o​p​h​t​h​a​l​m​o​logy/.

Health Topics: