Did you wake up one day to find that your eyelid looked droopy? Or maybe this symptom has come on over time, with your eyelid slowly drooping lower and lower over a period of weeks or months. In either case, this condition is known as ptosis. Its appearance may be concerning, but luckily, there are many ways to treat it. Read on to learn more about ptosis.
What causes ptosis?
If you have any other worrisome symptoms accompanying your ptosis, such as numbness, tingling, difficulty speaking, or a headache, head to the emergency room right away. You may have suffered a stroke.
In the absence of a stroke, ptosis is often caused by the aging process. The muscle that holds your eyelid up, known as the levator muscle, weakens with age. Some people also experience ptosis after a car accident or other trauma that tears or damages the levator muscle. There are people who are born with weaker levator muscles and who are therefore at an increased risk of this condition.
How is ptosis treated?
Do not just ignore ptosis and hope it goes away on its own. Left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems like eye irritation, conjunctivitis, and eye redness. Depending on the severity and cause of your ptosis, your doctor may recommend any one of these treatments:
1. Ptosis Crutches
There are special glasses made with a little device to hold your eyelid up and in place. Known as ptosis crutches, these glasses are more of a short-term solution. Your doctor may prescribe them if your ptosis is caused by a minor muscle injury that just needs time to heal.
The idea of having your eyelids massaged may sound strange, but in many cases, a gentle massage of the eyelids can help reactivate the levator muscle or stimulate it to heal. After a few weeks or regular massages, your eyelid sagging may subside.
Many cases of ptosis do not fully correct themselves without plastic surgery. Your doctor may refer you to a plastic surgeon who can make a small incision in your eyelid, repair the damaged levator muscle, and stitch the skin back up. In some cases, excess skin that is contributing to the drooping look may also be removed. You may need to wear an eye patch for a few days, but recovery is often much easier than patients expect.
If your eyelid has begun to sag, see a doctor promptly to ensure you get the proper treatment. For more information, contact a company like Center For Oral & Facial Surgery of Memphis PLLC.