Ptosis (Drooping Eyelid) Treatment in Children And Adults
Ptosis Treatment for Children and Adults in Loveland, Colorado, and Surrounding Areas
Do you or your child have a drooping upper eyelid? Ptosis treatment in Loveland, CO, from the experienced experts at the Kirk Eye Center, can help. Ptosis surgery is a common and straightforward procedure that can correct visual complications caused by the eyelid’s position. We can also discuss eye drops, which may help some ptosis patients achieve improvement without surgical correction.
What Is Ptosis?
Ptosis is drooping of the upper eyelid. The lid may droop slightly or it may cover the pupil (the dark center of the eye). One or both eyelids may be affected.
Ptosis that is present at birth is called congenital ptosis. If the ptosis in one eyelid is severe, the child’s vision may not develop properly. This may lead to amblyopia (also called lazy eye, a condition in which the brain uses images only from the “good” eye).
Ptosis that develops later is called adult or acquired ptosis.
How Does Ptosis Affect Vision?
Patients living with ptosis may experience increased tearing, distorted or obstructed vision, difficulty reading, and tiredness or aching around the eyes. In some cases, the drooping eyelid can cover the eye completely, blocking vision.
As the unaffected eye compensates for the one affected by ptosis, this can lead to eye strain. Untreated ptosis can cause permanent vision impairment in children. You should arrange an appointment with an ophthalmologist right away if your child has this condition, as it can easily be corrected.
For adults with acquired ptosis, vision loss is less likely to occur in mild cases. However, in moderate to severe cases, patients can experience visual obstruction that interferes with their ability to safely perform various tasks, including driving a vehicle. This can limit their independence and negatively impact their quality of life.
How Does Ptosis Develop?
Congenital ptosis occurs when the levator muscle, the muscle that lifts the eyelid up, is poorly developed. Children with ptosis may have other problems, such as diseases of the muscles or nerves.
Acquired (adult) ptosis occurs when there is an abnormality in:
- The levator muscle
- The levator muscle tendon
- The nerve supply to the levator muscle.
These conditions may be caused by:
- Muscle or nerve disorders
- Cataract or other eye surgery
- An injury
- Diseases such as diabetes that affect the nerves and muscles
If ptosis occurs suddenly, a brain aneurysm may be the cause. In this case it is a medical emergency.
What Are the Symptoms of Ptosis?
The drooping eyelid is the main symptom of ptosis. People with ptosis may tilt their heads back or raise their eyebrows to lift the eyelid. Adults may notice a loss of vision, especially in the upper part of their field of vision. After many years of holding their heads in abnormal positions, they may have deformities of the head or neck.
How Is Ptosis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine you. He or she may order blood tests, X-rays, or other tests to determine the cause and the best treatment plan.
Acquired ptosis is diagnosed through a close examination of your eyes, including your pupil size, ocular mobility, and underlying facial sensations. The doctor’s primary goal is to rule out any underlying neurological condition that could also cause a drooping eyelid.
There are five types of acquired ptosis:
- Aponeurotic ptosis is common among seniors, and it is caused by the loosening of the aponeurosis or a tendon that connects muscle to bone. Natural aging and the effects of gravy can cause the aponeurosis and lever tendon to fall. Frequently wearing contact lenses and a history of intraocular surgery, as well as inflammation and trauma, increase the risk of this condition.
- Myogenic ptosis is caused by levator muscle dysfunction. Various underlying conditions can cause myogenic ptosis, including myotonic, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, and oculopharyngeal dystrophy. Congenital myopathies, chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, and mitochondrial diseases that affect cellular function are also possible causes.
Ptosis crutches or a sling may be suggested for prolonged treatment as surgery does not always cure acquired ptosis.
- Neurogenic ptosis is the result of damage to the central nervous system (CNS) or oculomotor or sympathetic nerves. It can cause mild to severe ptosis, depending on the underlying cause. Before surgical correction, your eye doctor should monitor you through an observation period to allow for any possible recovery of the levator muscle or third (oculomotor) nerve, which passes through the midbrain and controls the levator muscle.
- Mechanical ptosis is caused by increased weight on the eyelid, making it difficult or impossible for the patient to keep their eye open. Removing the excess orbital fat or skin (or a tumor, if one is present) can alleviate the condition completely.
- Traumatic ptosis is due to eyelid injury, and it can take longer to treat as the body may need months to heal from the initial incident before surgery. There could be third nerve damage, and the exact injury to the levator muscle will vary from patient to patient. An attentive, individual approach to care is crucial to ensure that you are given proper time to heal and that the correct surgical method is chosen to alleviate the traumatic ptosis.
How Long Will the Effects Last?
Congenital ptosis will not get better without surgery. However, early correction will help the child to develop normal vision in both eyes.
In cases of acquired ptosis, the results can vary depending on the underlying cause. Some patients are able to be completely cured in one surgery while others require prolonged treatment and symptom management.
For more information about treatment for a drooping eyelid, please contact Kirk Eye Center online or call 970-669-1107 today. Our eye doctors welcome patients from Fort Collins, Windsor and other areas near Loveland.
How Is Ptosis Treated?
The most common and effective treatment for congenital ptosis, or eyelid drooping, is a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty.
During a blepharoplasty procedure, the muscles responsible for lifting the upper eyelid are repositioned higher on the face. Any excess skin and fat in the area are removed because they can contribute to additional eyelid drooping.
In cases of acquired ptosis that occur later in life, treating the underlying cause can sometimes resolve the eyelid drooping. For example, ptosis caused by a tumor may resolve on its own once the tumor has been removed.
Ptosis caused by nerve disorders may be treated with certain therapeutic measures that help the patient retrain their eyelid to stay in a higher position.
Dr. Kirk and Dr. Dustin Asay, OD, determine the best type of treatment for each patient based on their current symptoms, medical history, and unique needs. Individualized care is at the heart of our practice to ensure that every patient receives the most effective care for their eye condition.
How Long Is the Recovery After Treatment?
The recovery after ptosis treatment varies from patient to patient. Most people are able to return to work and resume their normal activities about one week after the procedure.
For several weeks, you will need to avoid direct sun exposure, as it can irritate the delicate skin on your eyelids. You should also avoid applying cosmetics to the upper eyelid for four to six weeks after your treatment, as this can lead to irritation.
Patients typically see the final outcome of their blepharoplasty about six to eight weeks after their surgery. This time frame allows ample time for any swelling or bruising to subside and for the tissues to settle into their new placement.
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How Many Ptosis Treatments Are Necessary?
Treatment for ptosis is usually performed only once. A blepharoplasty procedure should produce permanent results. If ptosis is being caused by an underlying condition or another ongoing factor, the eyelid may continue to droop downward in spite of treatment.
In cases of acquired ptosis where the eyelid continues to droop, alternative therapeutic options may be required. A consultation with a plastic surgeon can assess your situation and determine whether your ptosis treatment will yield permanent results or if further action will be necessary.
Are There Any Risks Involved with Ptosis Treatment?
Blepharoplasty is performed under general anesthesia, which comes with the standard risks involved in using anesthesia. These risks may include allergic reactions, respiratory difficulties, and stroke.
It is worth noting that anesthetic risks are uncommon and your pre-surgical medical clearance can help determine whether you have any factors that could increase your likelihood of encountering these risks.
Risks that are specific to the blepharoplasty procedure include infection, bleeding, bruising, dry eyes, itchiness around the eyes, and blurry vision.
Is Ptosis Treatment Painful?
Ptosis treatment is performed under general anesthesia, which means patients do not feel any discomfort during the procedure. There may be mild swelling, bruising, and soreness in the area for several days after surgery. This can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
Once your eyelids have healed completely from ptosis treatment, there should be no pain or discomfort.
Does Ptosis Go Away With Age?
Ptosis usually progresses with age rather than resolving. Children who show signs of a drooping eyelid are best treated early rather than later to avoid the development of other eye conditions and vision loss.
Adults with acquired ptosis may find it resolves on its own if the underlying cause heals or is treated; however, patients with mechanical ptosis from excess fat or skin require professional treatment to improve their symptoms.
Droopy Eyelid Treatment in Loveland, CO
We encourage you to contact us at Kirk Eye Center for a comprehensive evaluation of your drooping eyelid. We will offer personalized eye care and treatment recommendations based on your unique needs.
Please contact us today to explore ptosis treatment for adults and children in Loveland, CO. You can reach us online or call our office at 970-669-1107.