Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Drooping Eyelids

droopy eyelidsMany people suffer from drooped eyelids. This normally helps with age, trauma and many other medical conditions. Drooping of eyelids is also known as Ptosis. Ptosis can affect one or both the eyelids to droop, and is called unilateral ptosis and bilateral ptosis respectively. It may be temporary or permanent. It can be present since birth or can develop in later stages of life, known as congenital ptosis and acquired ptosis respectively. Dr. Naveen Somia, an expert eye bag surgeon in Sydney, shares with us information on ptosis.

Drooping eyelids can be very problematic if they are severely drooped. They can block the vision or reduce it seriously, depending upon the extent of obstruction of pupil. However, the condition resolves in most cases, either naturally or with medical treatment.

What causes eyelids to droop?

There are several reasons why eyelids droop, from natural causes to some serious causes. If you are experiencing the condition, you should visit your doctor and s/he will help you find the cause.

Natural Reasons

  • Droopy eyelids are not very uncommon and anyone can get it, but most commonly it is found in the elderly because of the aging process. The levator muscle is attached by a tendon which causes lifting of the eyelid. With age, this muscle may stretch and because of this, the eyelid can fall. However, you should remember that drooping of eyelids can take place in people of any age. Even babies are born with this condition, but very rarely.
  • Sometimes the cause may remain unknown, while many other times, the reason may be trauma. Sometimes the cause may be neurological too.
  • If the issue is congenital (since birth), its commonest cause is improper development of levator muscle because of which the ability to open the eye is affected.
  • Babies born with ptosis may also have amblyopia, more commonly called lazy eye, which delays or limits the children’s vision.

ptosis can be of one or both eyes

Medical Disorders

If you have got drooping eyelids, the reason may be another medical disorder, particularly if both the eyelids are affected. If only one of the eyelids is drooping, the cause may be a temporary sty (a normally harmless swelling and inflammation of eyelid) or nerve injury. Sometimes the culprit is a routine LASIK or cataract surgery because of which the tendon or muscle is stretched.

Serious Conditions

Sometimes the underlying medical condition of ptosis may be more serious like a stroke, cancer of the muscles or nerves or a brain tumour. Even neurological conditions affecting the eye muscles or nerves, like myasthenia gravis can also cause ptosis.


A major symptom of ptosis is sagging of one or both eyelids. Sometimes, this may affect the vision. But many times, sagging of eyelids is hardly noticeable or it doesn’t take place constantly. Even you may have extremely watery or dry eyes and your face may look tired.

The main affected area may be around the eyes and an aching may be experienced because of which the eyes may look tired. Some people may have to tilt their head back all the time while speaking, in severe cases.

If the patient suffers from persistent ptosis, the doctor should investigate eyes to ensure if there is an underlying cause, especially if the patient is experiencing migraine or other problems, since the starting of ptosis.

ptosis in both eyelids


As eyelid drooping is caused due to several causes, treatment is also of different types. For congenital or age-related ptosis, there is no treatment as such, because the condition is usually harmless. However, plastic surgery is a treatment option for reduction of drooping.

But if your drooping eyelids are blocking your vision, you will require mostly a surgery, though glasses that can hold your eyelids up are also one more option.

Dr. Naveen Somia performs upper and lower eyelid surgery in Sydney and many other cosmetic surgeries. Visit his website to know about all the surgeries he performs.