What is Ptosis?

Ptosis is an eye disorder in which the eyelids droop. More precisely the upper eyelids bend down on the lower ones. Another common medical term used for ptosis is blepharoptosis. Ptosis is not a disease on its own. It is actually a symptom of other serious health disorders such as stroke, brain tumor, or cancer. It can also be a symptom of a neurological disorder, wherein the nerves or muscles of the eyes are weakened (leading to ptosis). Ptosis can be temporary, or even permanent. The patient is likely to suffer vision distortion or loss, depending upon his/her condition. It is a temporary problem and does not necessarily require clinical attention, and may return to the normal state with time.


The most obvious sign in a person is a drooping eyelid. It can occur at any time, and the drooping is visibly notable. People born with ptosis will have an uneven shape or wrinkle on their eyelids. However, some symptoms that accompany the droopy eye are:

  • Block normal vision.
  • Eyes will be either watery or dry.
  • Fatigue.
  • Stress.
  • Migraine.


Ptosis is not a disease, but a symptom. It is associated with neurological disorders or cancer of the nerves or muscles. The common causes of the disease are:

  • Weakening of muscles, nerves, or sagging skin of the eyelids.
  • Horner’s Syndrome (nerve damage in the face and eyes).
  • Stroke.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disorder that affects muscle movement)


Some common risks of ptosis are:

  • Amblyopia.
  • Disrupted vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Scars.
  • Wrinkle in the eyelids.


As the disease arises due to weakened muscle, there is no prevention in particular. However, one can undertake eye exercise and patch exercise to strengthen the muscle.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor at Medanta might use the following methods to diagnose the disease:


How is it treated?

Ptosis that occurs naturally (at birth or because of age) does not require clinical treatment. The doctor will offer advice for home-based treatment. The patient can opt for cosmetic treatment to correct the appearance of the eyelids. 


  • Surgery

    If the disease is blocking vision, the doctor will recommend surgical repair. Alternatively, the patient may be required to wear glasses to prop up the affected eyelids. Surgical intervention may be required to strengthen the levator muscles. Another medical procedure known as the sling procedure (uses the forehead muscles to push the eyelids up) is also available as treatment.

When do I contact the doctor?

If you notice that the eyelids are drooping, visit your doctor immediately.

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