Blepharoptosis is defined by the drooping (ptosis) of the eyelid muscle, also known as the levator muscle, which gives us the ability to open our eyes. This condition most commonly develops with age (acquired ptosis), but it can also be a congenital condition or occur from trauma or an underlying condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Blepharoptosis?
For some patients, the condition may not be very noticeable, but in others, the eyelid drooping is obvious, especially when it only affects one eye. Although drooping is the main symptom of blepharoptosis, another common sign is having smooth, undefined creases in the eyelids.
Those suffering from blepharoptosis may subconsciously lift their eyebrows to raise their eyelids in an attempt to clear their field of vision. Individuals with severe drooping may even tilt their head slightly back to see better.
What Causes Blepharoptosis?
Blepharoptosis can affect one or both eyes, as well as the upper or lower eyelids. It is most common in older patients, as their eyelid muscles weaken and cause drooping, but the condition can occur at any point in a person’s life. Blepharoptosis is typically experienced due to one of the following factors:
- Developmental problem in utero
- Natural aging process
- Traumatic injury
- Muscle diseases
- Nerve damage, such as in Horner’s syndrome
In acquired ptosis, the muscle weakens and can separate from the eyelid cartilage. When this occurs, the lid will begin to droop, making it difficult to control the eyelid position and potentially affecting one’s vision. In congenital eyelid ptosis, the levator muscle has not developed properly. Children with ptosis are at a higher risk of developing lazy eye.
What Can I Expect During Blepharoptosis Surgery?
Although eyelid ptosis is often not a medical concern, if the eyelid lowers to the pupil level, this can affect one’s vision and should be repaired. To diagnose the condition, one of our experienced eye doctors will conduct an eye exam to determine if the patient’s field of vision is being compromised. Treatment for blepharoptosis will vary based on the underlying cause, which is assessed during the examination.
The most common procedure our ophthalmologists perform at Eye Doctors of Washington is called blepharoplasty. This procedure, also known as eyelid lift surgery, is designed to raise the drooping eyelid muscles and tighten the sagging skin. When performed by a qualified eye professional, blepharoplasty can provide dramatic improvement in one’s vision, as well as create a more refreshed, rejuvenated eye appearance.
To learn more about eyelid ptosis and how blepharoplasty can effectively repair the condition, please contact EDOW to schedule an appointment.