New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
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Ptosis (Drooping Eyelid)
What is ptosis?

Ptosis (pronounced TOE-sis) is a condition where the eyelid droops. It can affect one or both eyes. Patients who have ptosis find the condition annoying because many will develop headaches from straining to hold their lids open wider. In the more serious cases of ptosis, the lids may droop or sag so much that they actually block a person's vision.

What causes ptosis?

Most cases of ptosis develop with age, because the muscle that moves the eyelid up and down and holds the lid in the proper position can thin or stretch, causing the eyelid to droop. This type of ptosis is called involutional.

Other causes of ptosis are injury, previous eye surgery, neurological and muscular problems. It can also be congenital (present at birth).

How is ptosis treated?

There is no need to treat ptosis if it is not restricting vision and is not bothersome. If, on the other hand, the eyelid sags to the point where it affects your vision, surgery may be needed to correct the muscle. The surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist on an outpatient basis usually under a local anesthetic.

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