Eye exam

Ptosis (Droopy Eyelid)

What is Ptosis?

Ptosis describes the drooping or sagging of the upper eyelid. It occurs when the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelid (levator muscles) weaken or become dysfunctional, leading to a reduced ability to open the eye fully. Ptosis can affect one or both eyes and may vary in severity.

Ptosis is the drooping of one or both upper eyelids.

This may be minor or significant covering part or the entire pupil. Ptosis may be secondary to nerve or brain disorders, or may be an indication of ocular disease, neuro-muscular disorders, weakness of the levator muscle or its tendon, orbital disease, injury or aging.

Ptosis can cause a range of symptoms, including a drooping appearance of the eyelid, a tired or asymmetrical appearance of the eyes, reduced peripheral vision, and, in severe cases, interference with normal vision. Treatment for ptosis depends on its underlying cause and severity. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to lift and reposition the eyelid, allowing for improved vision and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Treatment decisions are typically made in consultation with an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon, who will evaluate the individual’s specific condition and recommend the most appropriate course of action.

Symptoms of Droopy Eyelids

Ptosis is characterized by the eyelid partially or completely covering the eye and may obstruct vision, depending on severity. To compensate, patients may often tilt their heads back or raise their eyebrows in an attempt to see clearly. In mild cases the droop of the eyelid may barely be noticeable, however a patient may compare a photograph of themselves from several years earlier if they are uncertain as to onset.

New onset of ptosis should be evaluated neuro-ophthalmologically to avoid delay in diagnosis of serious underlying conditions which may have caused the ptosis.

Dermatochalasis is excess skin and may at first glance be mistaken for ptosis. Our experts can help you investigate the cause of eyelid droop, and when indicated, can surgically correct ptosis.


Surgery is generally the course of treatment recommended for ptosis. The levator muscle or tendon that is responsible for eyelid lift is tightened to improve eyelid position and movement.

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Last updated: January 5, 2024