What is ptosis?

Ptosis: Overview

Ptosis (say “TOH-sus”) is an eye problem in which the upper eyelid droops over the eye. Depending on how much the eyelid droops, it may limit or completely block your vision.

Some people are born with this condition. Others may get it later in life. As people get older, the muscles that control the eyelids weaken. As a result, the skin can sag. Ptosis may also be caused by problems with the muscles or nerves that help move the eyelid.

Depending on the cause, your doctor may prescribe special eye drops. Or they may talk to you about having surgery.

What are the symptoms of ptosis?

When you have ptosis, the drooping eyelid may block your vision. This can make it very hard to do your daily activities. Some people also have headaches or fatigue.

How is ptosis treated?

Treatment for ptosis depends on the cause. Your doctor will try to find the cause and see if treatment may help. Some causes of ptosis may go away on their own over time. If ptosis interferes with your vision, your doctor may talk to you about having surgery.

How is ptosis diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and do an exam. They'll take measurements of the eyelid and test the strength of the muscles. If the doctor thinks there is a problem with the muscles or nerves, you may have more tests. These may include imaging tests, such as an MRI.

How do you care for yourself when you have ptosis?

Some causes of ptosis may go away on their own over time. However, others may require surgery. If your condition is making it hard for you to see, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

What is ptosis?

Ptosis (say "TOH-sus") means the upper eyelid droops over the eye. Some people are born with ptosis. Others may get it later in life. It may be caused by problems with the muscles or nerves that move the eyelid.

Ptosis: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse eye pain.
  • You have vision changes.
  • You have double vision.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.