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What Is Ptosis?
Ptosis (silent 'p') is a medical condition that causes drooping of the upper eyelid (or eyelids). If an eyelid droops too much, it restricts the field of vision by either partially or completely blocking the eye's pupil. Both children and adults can be affected by ptosis, although it commonly occurs as a result of aging.
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The most common symptom of ptosis is a drooping eyelid (or eyelids, if it affects both eyes). As a result, the person may experience limited field of vision and may produce excess tears in the affected eyes. Someone suffering from ptosis often has difficulty keeping his or her eyes open and may tilt their head back or repeatedly raise their eyebrows in an effort to lift the eyelids. When the person is tired, the drooping may be more noticeable as the muscles fatigue.
What Causes Ptosis?
Ptosis can be caused by a variety of factors. As the muscles weaken with age, the tendon, or muscles, (called levators) responsible for lifting the eyelid may stretch and no longer be able to support the eyelid; this is the most common cause of ptosis.
Children may also be born with ptosis. This is likely caused by the improper development of the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelids. Ptosis may be seen in people who abuse drugs, like heroin or other opioids, or it may occur due to an eye injury or trauma. Finally, more serious conditions may result in the development of ptosis. These include brain tumors (or other cancers), diabetes, Horner syndrome, Myasthenia gravis, or stroke.
The most common form of treatment for ptosis is surgery to tighten the tendon that holds the eyelid up, or to adjust muscles surrounding the eye. This eyelid lift surgery is called blepharoplasty. A surgeon will aim to restore normal field of vision, as well as improve the appearance of the eyelid. In children, a surgeon will correct the eyelid to prevent the development of amblyopia (also known as a lazy eye) or astigmatism. Surgery is usually successful in improving both appearance and function of the eye, though a possible side effect is complete loss of eyelid movement. Non-surgical options include wearing a 'clutch' pair of glasses or wearing specialized contact lenses to properly support the eyelid.
Ptosis is a condition that causes drooping eyelids. This could be caused by the weakening of muscles around the eye, aging, a complication of certain diseases, trauma, or it may be present from birth. When the field of vision is obstructed, surgery may be able to correct the deficit and restore full vision, as well as enhance the appearance of the eyelid. Ptosis can occur in children and will be corrected to prevent the development of lazy eye or astigmatism. Ptosis may also occur in older individuals as a natural response to aging.
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What is Ptosis? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
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