Drooping Eyelid? Here's Why And How It's Treated

People often talk about the condition of eyelids making people look older, but it's another thing entirely if one of your eyelids droops so far that it interferes with your vision. This can happen as people age, so if it's happened to you, you're not alone. This guide will explain to you how this condition occurs and what you need to do to have it fixed.

Acquired Ptosis

The condition you have has a name, and its ptosis. Your doctor may refer to it as acquired ptosis, as that's the adult form of the disorder. Children can also develop ptosis, though it's usually for slightly different reasons than adults.

In adults, ptosis is caused when the muscle responsible for holding the eyelid open weakens or is damaged. Eyelids often weaken to this point with age, simply because the long-term pull of gravity on skin and muscle forces it to slowly sag as the years roll by. If age isn't the culprit, it's possible that an injury occurred that essentially stretched the muscle too far or perhaps even tore it, damaging its functionality.

The severity of the condition ultimately depends upon the individual. Some people have minor ptosis, where it's noticeable to other people but doesn't impair vision, while others can have a severe version where nearly all vision is cut off by the lowered eyelids. In some cases, you may be able to force your eye open fully, but if it returns to a sagging appearance when you let your eyes rest in an open position naturally, then that confirms that the muscle isn't behaving properly.


The treatment for this condition can fully repair the look of the eyelid. Most people regain their full field of vision, and the procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis.

If you want to have your eyelid or eyelids repaired, you'll need to make an appointment to see an ophthalmological surgeon. An ophthalmologist will sedate you and numb the area, then go in and gently shorten the muscle responsible for holding up the eyelid. After it's reattached, your eyelid will be able to return to normal functionality as it will be held open properly again.

Surgery for ptosis is a quick procedure, and you can expect to recover from the minor incisions rapidly. Immediately following the surgery, you'll be able to see more around you, and as any swelling from the operation diminishes, it will increase further. If eye surgery sounds like what you've been looking for, contact an ophthalmological surgeon.