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What is ptosis and how is it treated?


Ptosis, also known as drooping eyelid, is a condition in which the upper eyelid droops or sags downward. This can occur in one or both eyes, and can affect people of all ages. The severity of ptosis can range from mild to severe, with some individuals experiencing only a slight droop while others may have difficulty opening their eyelid fully.


There are several causes of ptosis, including age-related changes in the muscles that lift the eyelid, nerve damage, and certain medical conditions such as myasthenia gravis, Horner’s syndrome, and stroke. Ptosis can also be a congenital condition, present at birth. It can also be caused by trauma, surgery or certain medication side effects.


The most common symptom of ptosis is a drooping eyelid that can affect vision, cause double vision or even headaches. It can also cause some people to look sleepy or tired, which can be cosmetically unappealing. In some cases, ptosis can also affect the visual field, resulting in a restriction in peripheral vision.


The treatment of ptosis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In mild cases, the condition may not require any treatment, but in moderate to severe cases, surgery is often recommended. The surgery is called ptosis repair and it aims to lift the eyelid and correct the position of the eyelid to improve vision and appearance.


In some cases, the surgery is performed using a muscle-repositioning technique, where the muscle responsible for lifting the eyelid is repositioned to lift the eyelid higher. In other cases, a levator muscle resection is performed, where a small portion of the muscle is removed to weaken it and allow the eyelid to lift higher.


In congenital ptosis, surgery is usually performed in childhood to correct the position of the eyelid and prevent amblyopia (lazy eye) from developing. In adults, ptosis repair is usually performed as an day case procedure, under local or general anaesthesia. The recovery period varies depending on the type of surgery and the individual, but most people can return to their normal activities within a few weeks after surgery.


Key points

  • Ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelid droops or sags downward.

  • It can affect people of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors, including age-related changes, nerve damage, medical conditions, trauma, surgery or certain medication side effects

  • The treatment of ptosis depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition, and in most cases surgery is recommended

  • With the right treatment, ptosis can be corrected and the individual can regain normal vision and appearance

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