Droopy Eyelids: Ptosis

Ptosis is the drooping of the eyelid and can affect one or both eyelids.  It will affect the vision when the droopy eyelid covers more than half of the eye and can cause lazy eye (known as amblyopia) in children.  Treatment is necessary for 2 reasons

  • To improve the ability the see without having to strain the eye and neck muscles
  • To prevent lazy eye (amblyopia) in children
Image shows the left eye with a 2mm droopy eyelid Source BMJ


Ptosis occurs when the muscle which lifts the eyelid known as Levator Palpebral Superioris muscle loses its function. These are the more common causes;

  • Congenital. Some children are born with droopy eyelids
  • Age-related.  Adults get ptosis (also known as involutional ptosis) when the Levator muscle gets stretched or weakened with age
  • Nerve dysfunction due to 3rd nerve paralysis (due to a stroke or diabetes) or Horner’s syndrome
  • Muscle dysfunction due to Myasthenia Gravis

Click to view AAO video on Ptosis Surgery


Treatment involves surgical correction which can be performed by a ophthalmologist or cosmetic surgeon specialising in the field of oculo-plastic surgery and eyelid reconstruction.  The surgery may involve the following procedures and can be combined with blepharoplasty or double eyelid reconstruction.

  • Levator resection
  • Muller muscle resection
  • Frontalis sling
This person had Ptosis Surgery to the right droopy eyelid to balance the facial appearance

Post Operative Care

  • Immediately after the surgery, there may be some swelling, redness or bruising which should resolve with time. 
  • Avoid contact with dirty water such as swimming or make up for the first 3-6 weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid shellfish or nuts (if you have allergy to them)
  • You may wash your face and shower 24 hours after your surgery
  • You may need to apply eye ointment or medication (if prescribed by your doctor) during the healing period. 
  • You may need stitches removal 5-7 days after your surgery at your next follow-up consultation
  • See your doctor asap if there is sudden pain or intense swelling around the eyelids

Discuss with a cosmetic & aesthetic or eye doctor the treatment options available for you

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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