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What You Need to Know About Eyelid Problems

There are two main types of conditions that can cause droopy eyelids: ptosis and dermatochalasis.

Ptosis is when the eyelid margin is lower, usually as a result of a weakened eyelid muscle called the levator muscle.

Ptosis in adults usually is caused by the levator muscle separating or stretching from its insertion.  Ptosis in adults can often occurs after eye surgery, trauma or after many years of wearing gas permeable contact lenses.  The procedure for ptosis surgery involves reattaching and strengthening the levator muscle.

Dermatochalasis is when excess skin and fatty tissue of your upper eyelid hangs down and can cause weight on your lashes, headaches and visual obstruction.  Dermatochalasis often occurs over time in association with a genetic predisposition.

The treatment of dermatochalasis is called a blepharoplasty.  Blepharoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fatty tissue.

While ptosis and dermatochalasis does not cause damage to the eye, they both can impair visual function.  Both of these surgeries are often performed for aesthetic reason.  However if your visual function is impaired, the surgery to correct you eyelids if often covered by your medical insurance.  The risks for ptosis and dermatochalasis surgery include bleeding, infection, eyelid asymmetry, dry eye and vision loss.

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