Ptosis can be caused by a number of factors that affect the muscles, nerves, or skin of the eyelids. The muscles that allow your eyelids to move up and down—called the levator muscles—can become weakened from age or injury. In addition, some people may be born with weaker-than-normal eye muscles, thereby developing ptosis at a young age.
The primary symptom of ptosis is a visible drooping of the upper eyelid. Ptosis can affect children and adults at any stage of life. You may notice symptoms in one or both eyes. Individuals who are born with drooping eyelids have congenital ptosis. One of the signs of congenital ptosis is having uneven creases in the eyelids.
Treatment: Treatment for ptosis varies. If diabetes is the cause, your doctor will teach you how to manage this condition. Drooping eyelids caused by spinal cord injuries, tumors, nerve damage, or cancer may resolve once the underlying condition is addressed.In cases of congenital ptosis, the levator muscles usually do not improve on their own, and may require surgery. Surgical repair involves manually tightening the levator muscles in order to lift the eyelid. You may have trouble opening and closing your eye immediately after surgery, but as you recover, this function will return. An eyelid lift can restore normal vision in many cases.
Children who have ptosis are at an increased risk for developing a lazy eye. Lazy eye, called amblyopia, is the blurring or absence of vision in one eye. Amblyopia occurs when the nerve connections between your brain and eye are impaired. One treatment for this condition involves putting a patch over your good eye in order to make your poor eye work more efficiently. Surgical repair for ptosis can help prevent lazy eye.