What Causes Ptosis and How is it Corrected?

What Causes Ptosis and How is it Corrected?

Pronounced “tosis” and often referred to as droopy eyelids, ptosis can add years to the calendar as the delicate skin and muscles of your upper eyelids begin to stretch, sag, and droop. For many individuals, ptosis also causes significant problems with vision as the upper eyelid droops far enough to actually block the pupil and affect your ability to see.

Dr. Elena Geller is a top-rated oculoplastic surgeon and one of the experts on our team here at KLM Eye MDs in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Geller is well-acquainted with ptosis and the effects it can have on your vision as well as your appearance. She provides the most advanced and effective surgical procedures available for many eye disorders, including ptosis repair, and is happy to offer insight regarding the cause of droopy eyelids as well as possible surgical repair.

What causes ptosis?

Ptosis is due to weakening of the muscles (the levator palpebrae superioris or the Mueller’s muscle) in the upper eyelid that are responsible for elevating or lifting the upper eyelid. It’s most often related to aging, but ptosis can occur as a result of certain nerve and muscular disorders that may be congenital (those you’re born with) or acquired (those that occur later in life).

Age-related ptosis, which is the most common type, occurs when the effects of aging cause weakening or stretching of the aponeurosis of the levator muscle. This type of ptosis typically occurs gradually and worsens over time. Ptosis that develops suddenly, within days or hours, can be indicative of a serious neurologic condition.

Congenital ptosis occurs when an infant is born with a developmental problem involving the levator muscle. This type most often affects one eye and may require surgery if the droopy lid interferes with the baby’s vision. If the ptosis is not significant at birth, ptosis repair can be performed later if the drooping worsens or causes cosmetic concerns during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood.

Other conditions that can cause ptosis include:

How do you treat ptosis?

When a patient presents with ptosis we first identify the underlying cause. There are surgical options for many patients with ptosis.   Ptosis repair is an outpatient surgery that Dr. Geller performs in our on-site surgical suite at KLM Eye MDs. We provide medication to help you relax and local anesthetic at the surgical site to prevent discomfort. There is no pain during the surgery.

The focus of the procedure is to address the weakened muscles and there are different techniques for ptosis repair. Dr.Geller will determine which approach to recommend based on the exam.  

Depending on the nature and characteristics of your droopy eyelid, Dr. Geller may also recommend you undergo blepharoplasty at the same time to remove loose or aging skin that’s affecting your vision and/or the youthful appearance of your eyes.

Schedule a visit at KLM Eye MDs today for a consultation regarding ptosis repair. Call the office or book your appointment online.  

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