Ptosis, or drooping of the upper eyelid, can affect children and adults. Congenital ptosis is present at birth, while acquired ptosis develops later in life. This article explores the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for ptosis, focusing on Colorado’s services.
What is Ptosis?
Ptosis is a drooping upper eyelid. You can see a slight droop of the lid or the pupil covered by the lid (the dark center of your eye). It may affect one or both eyelids.
- Congenital Ptosis: Present at birth, this form of ptosis occurs when the levator muscle is underdeveloped. Severe cases can impact a child’s vision, leading to amblyopia (lazy eye).
- Acquired Ptosis: This form of ptosis develops later in life due to abnormalities in the levator muscle, its tendon, or its nerve supply. Causes include aging, muscle or nerve disorders, tumors, eye surgery, injury, or diseases affecting nerves and muscles. Sudden ptosis could indicate a brain aneurysm, which is a medical emergency.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Ptosis
The primary symptom of ptosis is a drooping eyelid, which can be a noticeable feature in affected individuals. To compensate for this drooping, people with ptosis may unconsciously tilt their heads back or frequently raise their eyebrows to lift the eyelid and improve their field of vision. In adults, ptosis can lead to vision loss, particularly in the upper part of their visual field.
Diagnosing ptosis involves a comprehensive physical examination by a medical professional. In some cases, additional tests may be required to determine the condition’s underlying cause and establish the most appropriate treatment plan.
Treatment Options in Colorado
- Congenital Ptosis Treatment: Surgery, specifically blepharoplasty, is the most common and effective treatment. It involves repositioning the levator muscle higher on the face and removing excess skin and fat.
- Acquired Ptosis Treatment: Treating the underlying cause can sometimes resolve acquired ptosis. In cases of nerve-related ptosis, therapeutic measures may help retrain the eyelid to maintain a higher position.
Kirk Eye Center, located in Loveland, Colorado, offers ptosis treatment services for patients in the surrounding areas, including Fort Collins, Windsor, Greeley, and Longmont. To learn more or schedule a consultation, contact Kirk Eye Center online or call 970-669-1107.