Medical Conditions that Can Cause Ptosis

Medical Conditions that Can Cause Ptosis

Denver Facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael McCracken commonly treats a condition known as ptosis, or eyelid drooping. Ptosis can affect one or both eyes and may block or greatly reduce vision. Ptosis is common in seniors, because the natural aging process causes the muscles that lift and lower the eyelid to relax and stretch. However, not all cases of ptosis are age-related. Sometimes ptosis can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as the following:


Myasthenia gravis is a rare autoimmune disease that affects the communication between the muscles and nerves. This causes progressive muscle weakness in the eyelids, as well as other facial muscles and areas of the body.


Long-term diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the eye muscles.


Stroke, brain tumor and brain aneurysm can also damage the nerves.


Horner’s syndrome, which can cause unusually small pupils and inability to sweat, can cause nerve damage. Some cases of Horner’s syndrome are caused by cancerous tumors at the top of the lungs.


Tumors on the eyelid or inside the eye socket can lead to drooping eyelids.


Some bouts of cluster headaches can cause ptosis, as well as localized pain in or around the eyes.

Diagnosing Ptosis

If one or both of your eyelids droop, it is important to get them checked out by an eye doctor. During the appointment, the doctor will examine the eyes and ask you questions about the drooping, such as how often it happens and how long it has been happening. He will also inquire about your medical history, asking questions about any current or former health conditions that could be responsible for the ptosis. Certain tests and equipment may be used to get a closer look at the eye and determine whether muscle issues are causing the eyelids to droop.

Treatment for eyelid drooping depends on its cause, but many cases are treated surgically by tightening the muscle that lifts the eyelid. Ptosis repair is a short procedure with a swift recovery period. Special techniques can be incorporated into the procedure to improve the appearance of the eyes, too.

Contact McCracken Eye and Face Institute

To learn more about ptosis, what causes it and how we treat it, please contact McCracken Eye and Face Institute and request a consultation with our team. Call (720) 851-6600 or email us today.