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What Causes Droopy Eyelids? (And How to Fix Them)

What is Ptosis?

Ptosis, also known as droopy eyelids, occurs when one’s upper eyelid droops down on or over the eye. Droopy eyelids can be caused by natural aging, trauma, or several other medical conditions. This can occur in one or both eyelids and can impact one’s sight. For those with droopy eyelids that sag significantly over their eye, they often have to continuously raise their brow to correct the issue. This can lead to headaches as the constant lifting is burdensome. While some people may recover naturally, others will need medical intervention to fix the problem. Let’s take a look at what causes droopy eyelids.

What Causes Droopy Eyelids?

There are a variety of factors that can cause droopy eyelids. Below you will find some of the more common causes.

  • Congenital Ptosis: Some people are born with the condition, and there may be genetic reasons why. For some, it can impair their vision and cause a lazy eye.
  • Accidents: For those who are not born with droopy eyelids, it can be caused by an accident. This can occur due to accidental stretching or tearing of the tendon-like wrap that functions to help the eyelid move. An accident during eye surgery, excessive eye rubbing, and rigid contact lenses can all cause eyelid drooping.
  • Natural Aging: Aging can cause the muscles in your upper eyelid to weaken. This creates the drooping effect.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can cause droopy eyelids, including certain neurological conditions, Horner’s syndrome, eyelid tumors, cysts, or even swelling. Nerve damage can also damage eye muscles, which can lead to drooping.

Risk Factors

While those of older age may not be able to combat the effects of droopy eyelids, some factors can place one at a higher risk for the issue. Below you will find some of the common risk factors for the condition.

  • Contacts: Those who wear contact lenses, especially rigid contacts, are at a higher risk.
  • Eye Rubbing: Whether you are tired or have an itch, excessive eye rubbing can weaken the eye muscles that help keep your eyes lifted and tight.
  • Eye Surgery: For those who have either been injured and undergone eye surgery or have had elective eye surgery, it is a risk factor that can lead to droopy eyelids.

Can I Prevent Droopy Eyelids?

While there is not a lot that can be done to entirely prevent droopy eyelids, medical professionals stress that avoiding rubbing your eyes is important. Also, people should avoid using contact lenses as they are a leading factor in droopy eyelids occurring.

There have been reports that smoking, being overweight or obese, and alcohol use contribute to droopy eyelids. Researchers have found that these are not risk factors for droopy eyelids.

Treatment for Droopy Eyelids

However, Dr. McCracken can repair droopy eyelids after a proper medical diagnosis. An experienced surgeon can correct the eyelid by tightening the muscle that lifts the eyelid. This is done through a tiny incision. The procedure is minimally invasive, takes roughly thirty minutes, and requires barely any downtime. The procedure can even require only local anesthesia. Patients are often back to their regular daily routine within one week.

McCracken Eye and Face Institute

If you are experiencing issues with your upper eyelids and want to talk to a professional, contact McCracken Eye and Face Institute. Dr. Michael McCracken and his team offer a wide variety of procedures, including surgery to correct droopy eyelids to help make you look and feel younger. Set up an appointment today and take the next step to a better you!

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