Ptosis can affect anyone, at any age. It is more commonly associated with aging, but children are known to develop droopy eyelids, and may even be born with it. Ptosis is sometimes caused by trauma or a systemic medical disorder, and it can affect just one or both eyelids. Ptosis may be transient or it can be permanent.
Many people look for treatment for droopy eyelids, but a lot of the time this can be purely cosmetic. Droopy eyelids can make us look older and more tired, so many people take steps to remove them.
Droopy eyelids can be the first symptom of a larger, more dangerous condition. Therefore, if you notice ptosis developing, you should consult your doctor immediately.
The most obvious sign of ptosis is the drooping eyelid. You may find that either one or both of the eyelids sag. Sometimes, this will be barely noticeable and won’t necessarily affect your vision. In most cases, the eyelid sagging is barely noticeable or doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes, ptosis can be accompanied by dry or watery eyes.
In extreme cases of ptosis, however, you may find that the drooping of the eyelid will start to impede your vision, especially if it starts to cover your pupil.
In severe cases, you may start tilting your head back so that you can see more clearly, even when having a normal conversation. If left untreated, severe cases of ptosis can also lead to astigmatism, headaches and other vision issues.
If you notice that you are having rapidly onset ptosis, over the space of a few days or weeks, you should see a doctor immediately. Often, there will be accompanying symptoms to go with this, such as headaches, loss of vision or a dramatic change in the size of your pupils. Visit your doctor immediately to make sure that this isn’t a symptom of a larger problem, like myasthenia gravis or a brain tumour.
The reasons for getting droopy eyelids can vary from person to person. There are natural causes for droopy eyelids, as well as more serious conditions – where droopy eyelids are just a by-product.
Droopy eyelids become more prevalent as people get older, due to the natural aging process. The muscle that is responsible for lifting the eyelid – the levator muscle – stretches as we get older and becomes less effective at keeping the eyelid open.
If ptosis develops in children, this can be an early sign of the muscle not developing properly. This is referred to a congenital droopy eyes. Often, children who develop droopy eyelids then go on to also develop amblyopia, or what is more commonly called lazy eye. In extreme cases, the eyelid can cover the pupil and surgery will definitely be suggested.
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