Droopy Eyelids – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Pathologic eye drooping is also known as ptosis. If only one eye is affected it’s called unilateral ptosis and if both eyes are involved, it’s known as bilateral ptosis. It may take place because of age, trauma and various medical conditions. It may be permanent or may come and go. There are two types in it, viz. congenital ptosis, when it is present since birth and acquired ptosis when it develops later in life.

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Based on the severity of condition, droopy eyelids can greatly reduce or even block vision based on the degree of obstruction of the pupil. However, in most cases, the condition can be resolved, either through a natural solution or through medical intervention.

Causes of Droopy Eyelids

Natural Causes

Dr. Naveen Somia, an expert in droopy eyelid fix in Bondi Junction says that as such droopy eyelids can occur at any age, but it’s more common in senior adults due to the natural aging process. For lifting the eyelid, there is a tendon attached to the levator muscle. With aging this muscle is stretched because of which eyelid falls. Remember though that this can happen at any age. Even babies are born with it, but in very rare cases.

Exact cause of droopy eyelids is sometimes unknown, but other times it may result from trauma. It can even be neurological. The commonest cause of congenital ptosis is improper development of levator muscle, because of which the ability to open your eye is affected.

Children with ptosis may develop amblyopia too. This is also known as lazy eye and it can limit or delay their vision.

Medical Conditions

A medical condition can also be a cause of droopy eyelids, particularly if it involves both eyes. If only one eyelid is affected, it may be as a result of a temporary sty (swelling and inflammation of eyelid that is normally harmless) or a nerve injury. Sometimes routine cataract or LASIK surgery may be culprit for the formation of ptosis.

Serious Conditions

Sometimes some more serious conditions can give rise to ptosis, e.g. a stroke, cancer of the muscles or nerves or brain tumour.


The main symptom is sagging of one or both eyelids. In some cases, your vision is affected. However, in many cases, people barely notice the sagging of eyelid or it doesn’t take place all the time. You may even get extremely watery or dry eyes and you may notice tiredness in your face.


After the completion of physical exam and asking medical history, your doctor may run some tests, like the following:

Slit-lamp Test: In this test, a low-power microscope along with a source of high-intensity light is used to provide a thin beam. With this test, your doctor can examine the eyelids, sclera, iris, cornea and conjunctiva. To dilate pupils, doctor may place drops in your eyes. The back of the eye can be examined with another small lens.

Tensilon Test: In this test, the drug named tensilon is injected in your veins and you will be told to move eyes to check if your muscle strength is improved by the drug. Whether droopy eyelid is because of an autoimmune disease or neuromuscular issues will be determined by this test.

Visual Field Test: The total area you can see in the side of your vision while focusing on a central point is called visual field. Visual field test reveals any vision deficiencies and helps find the cause.

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Treatment for droopy eyelids depends on its cause. If the cause is aging or congenital, you may not require a treatment as the condition is harmless. However, if you want to lessen the drooping, you may choose to have plastic surgery for example from a Bondi Junction plastic surgeon like Dr. Naveen Somia.

If droopy eyelid is obstructing your vision, you will require treatment, typically in the form of a surgery. Another option is glasses that hold the eyelids up, when the condition is temporary.

Ptosis surgery may also be recommended by your doctor. This includes tightening of levator muscle and thereby lifting the eyelid in the desired position. In another type of surgery called a sling operation, forehead muscles are used to lift the eyelids.