Ptosis (pronounced “toe-sis”) is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid(s). The upper eyelid margin may cause a reduction in the field of vision when the eyelid either partially or completely obstructs the pupil. To compensate, the patient raises the eyebrows in an effort to raise the drooping eyelids. In severe cases, people with ptosis may need to lift their eyelids with their fingers in order to see.
What Causes Ptosis?
There are many causes of ptosis including age related weakening of the muscle, congenital weakness, trauma, or sometimes neurologic disease. As we age, the tendon that attaches the levator muscle (the major muscle that lifts the eyelid), can stretch and cause the eyelid to fall. This is the most common cause of a droopy eyelid. Ptosis may also occur following routine lasik or cataract surgery due to stretching of the muscle or tendon. Children may be born with ptosis or may acquire it due to trauma.
Can Ptosis Be Corrected?
Ptosis can be corrected surgically and usually involves tightening the levator muscle to bring up the eyelid to provide a full-field of vision again. Two sets of visual field tests, one before and one after taping up the eyelids, and some photos are always needed to provide proof to insurance company that it is a medical necessity. Otherwise, it would be considered a cosmetic procedure and would not be covered by insurance.