Ptosis: What Causes Droopy Eyelids + How to Treat Them

What is ptosis? The name of the condition is not commonly known, but you know it when you see it: ptosis refers to “pathologic droopy eyelid.” It’s a condition that can leave one or both eyes chronically looking like the individual just got out of bed. In the former, it’s unilateral ptosis, and in the latter it’s bilateral ptosis.

The condition can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed later in life).


There are many different causes. Ptosis doesn’t seem to have higher prevalence in men vs. women, or different ethnicities, but, demographically, ptosis has a higher prevalence among older adults.

Weakness in the levator muscle can lead to droopy eyelid, as contraction of the levator muscle lifts the eyelid.

When the condition is congenital, it is often do to improper development of the levator muscle.

By itself, ptosis is not necessarily dangerous. If severe enough it can impair vision, and sometimes it can point to a more serious underlying medical condition.

In less serious conditions, ptosis may simply be the result of a stye on the eyelid. It could be a minor nerve injury.

Unfortunately, it might also point to a more serious condition: such as a stroke, a brain tumor or even forms of cancer affecting nerves and muscles.


If ptosis is congenital, it is typically not indicative of a more serious condition. In this case, doctors may advise a patient medical treatment isn’t necessary unless they desire it for cosmetic reasons.

Individuals can opt for ptosis surgery, where the levator muscle is tightened through a process known as levator advancement. In serious enough cases, surgery may be advised in children so that they don’t develop amblyopia (lazy eye).

Alternatively, a crutch can be added to the frames of glasses which holds the eyelid in place.

Want to know more? Call (571) 203-1300 or visit us online for more information.


Are you ready to explore your cosmetic treatment options? Schedule a consultation with us at our McLean, Virginia location. Our expert team is here to discuss your aesthetic goals and create a personalized treatment plan tailored just for you. Contact us today to take the first step towards your rejuvenation journey at Rostami OPC.

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