Ptosis refers to drooping of an upper eyelid of one or both eyes. The droop may be barely noticeable, or it may cover the pupil entirely. Ptosis can affect both children and adults, but usually occurs because of aging.
• Affect one or both eyelids
• Be inherited
• Be present at birth
• Occur later in life
If a child is born with ptosis, it is called “congenital ptosis.” Congenital ptosis is often caused by poor development of the muscle that lifts the eyelid, called the levator muscle. This condition usually doesn’t improve on its own over time. With moderate to severe congenital ptosis, the child may need treatment to have his or her vision develop normally.
What problems can result from ptosis in children?
The most serious problem associated with childhood ptosis is amblyopia (lazy eye), which is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. This can occur if the lid is drooping severely enough to block the child’s vision. More frequently, amblyopia can develop because ptosis tends to lead to constant blurriness of visual images, causing astigmatism. Ptosis can also hide misaligned or crossed eyes, which can cause amblyopia.
The most obvious sign of ptosis is the drooping eyelid. Depending on how severely the lid droops, people with ptosis may have difficulty seeing. Sometimes people tilt their heads back to try to see under the lid or raise their eyebrows repeatedly to try to lift the eyelids.
Surgery usually is the best treatment for drooping eyelids. In the case of children this surgery becomes an urgent procedure. In an adult it can be done based on the convenience of the individual. There are two different types of surgery that can be done. Each surgery has its advantages and your doctor will explain to you which type of surgery is best for you and why.
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