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Ptosis is a droopy eyelid where the upper lid sits lower on the eye

What is ptosis?

Ptosis can block vision and affect the facial expressions and appearance of a person.  People may report that their friends and colleagues feel that they look tired all the time There are a number of causes of ptosis

What are the symptoms of ptosis?

The symptoms of ptosis include blocked vision, a feeling of heaviness of the eyelid,  brow ache if you raise your brows to compensate for the drooping eyelid, a lack of confidence or a change in facial expression.

What causes ptosis?

Causes of ptosis include:

  • Long term rubbing of the eye
  • Contact lens use
  • Injury to the eyelid
  • Cataract or eye surgery
  • Problems with the nerves around the eye like a third nerve palsy or Marcus Gunn or Jaw winking syndrome which are rarer
  • Other medical problems that may affect the eyelid muscle such as myasthenia gravis ormyotonic dystrophy
  • Congenital ptosis where it is present at birth

How is ptosis diagnosed?

If the condition is not serious and not related to a nerve or muscle problem and doesn’t impact the vision or confidence it can be left alone.

Treatment is usually surgical for most cases with surgery usually done under local anaesthetic to raise the eyelid.

The surgical procedure used depends on how well the levator muscle that lifts the eyelid is working. This will be discussed with you by your surgeon.

In cases such as myasthenia raves the treatment of the medical condition may be enough to correct the ptosis without surgery at all.

If you’re unsure what treatment you should go for, or the above treatments don’t work for you, our team of expert specialists are here to help.

How is ptosis treated?

The mainstay of treatment is surgery as this carried the best chance of complete removal and cure. The survival rate overall is high at over 95% for tumours that are detected and treated early. Other forms of treatment include radiotherapy, freezing or cryotherapy, chemotherapy and topical agents but the chance of success is lower than surgery for these.

If you’re unsure what treatment you should go for, or the above treatments don’t work for you, our team of expert specialists are here to help.

This content has been checked and approved by

Mr Ahmad Aziz  ›

Mr Ahmad Aziz is a full time consultant ophthalmologist specialising in cataract and oculoplastics at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Find your specialist in ophthaomology at King Edward VII's Hospital

If you suspect you have ptosis and you’re seeking an expert opinion, you can find the UK’s leading specialists here at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Our consultants are hand-picked for you, making it easy to access the best possible care.

Mr Ahmad Aziz  ›
Special interests include:
Ophthalmology (+ 12) more

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