Eye and Opthalmology

Ptosis

Description

In medical term, ‘Ptosis’ means a droopy upper eyelid, which, if severe, can affect your vision. It is not a kind of disease, but a condition that you need to seek treatment for.

There are many factors that affect the skin, eyelids and muscles and are responsible for this condition. The levator muscles that let your eyelids move up and down can weaken from injury and age. In few of the cases, many people are born with weak levator muscles, which causes them to develop ptosis.

Nerve damage and horner’s syndrome can also contribute to ptosis that occurs in the eyes and the face. Some other factors include spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, diabetes, myasthenia gravis and any form of lung cancer. Common cluster headaches and long term use of contact lenses may also cause ptosis.

In most of the cases of ptosis, surgery is performed after a few of the factors that include patient’s age, the eyelid’s height and movement, whether ptosis is involved in both the eyelids and its strength. During the surgery, the levator is repositioned or in extreme cases, the lid is attached or removed under the eyebrow, allowing the forehead muscles to lift easily. If a child is suffering from the condition, the surgery is done to remove the excessive eyelid skin (Blepharoplasty) that can raise the lid adequately. Severe cases require strengthening and reattaching of lifting muscle.

Treatment option for ptosis varies from patient to patient who have the condition due to distinct factors such as spinal cord injuries, cancer, tumor, and nerve damage. In ptosis caused by myasthenia gravis, the doctor will use medications such as pyridostigmine and neostigmine to assist your nerves and muscles function properly. While in congenital ptosis, surgery is required to manually tighten the lifting muscles and treat amblyopia to help restore the normal vision.

Complications

Even though the surgery is the most appropriate and safe option for diagnosis of ptosis, there are some risks also involved post surgery. These are

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Reduced vision
  • Difficulty closing eyes completely
  • Not perfectly symmetrical eyelids
  • Scarring
  • Restless sleep and minor trauma

Post operative care

Well, above mentioned complications are not usual after the surgery, but if you do suffer from any of these, try to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Lubricating eye drops and ointment prescribed by a doctor can help you deal with such complications. Do not use it on your own.