Eyelid drooping, also called ptosis, may resolve on its own or require treatment. Learn about 6 procedures that can help fix droopy eyelids
Eyelid drooping, also called ptosis, may resolve on its own depending the cause and severity of the condition and may not always require treatment. This is especially true for children, since it is common for their ptosis to improve as their facial structure develops.
Many people have a combination of factors that cause droopy eyelids, and they may require a combination of procedures to fully correct the problem. Consulting a medical professional is the best way to find out if treatment is needed.
6 treatment options for droopy eyelids
- Botox can lift slightly drooping eyelids.
- When injected into the facial muscles, it can give the appearance of a more lifted brow.
- While neurotoxins such as Botox can temporarily improve a drooping brow and eyelid, the effects are only temporary, lasting 3-6 months.
2. Injectable fillers
- Fillers injected into the fat pad just beneath the brow can improve the appearance of drooping eyelids. The upper eye area may slightly plump up, which reduces sagging.
- Injecting filler into the temples raises the outer brow and lifts the eye area, reducing the drooping.
- After a dermal filler treatment, bruising and mild swelling are possible. The effects, however, can last for up to a year.
3. Ptosis repair surgery
- This procedure tightens the muscles that lift the upper eyelid and corrects droopy eyelids. When one eyelid droops more than the other, surgery can correct most of the asymmetry.
- Although it is often possible to bring the eyelids to a similar height, exact symmetry is not a realistic expectation with this procedure.
- Depending on the type of ptosis repair, surgical incisions may be made on the front or back of the eyelid or on the forehead.
- There may be some bruising for 2 weeks or more following the procedure, but the pain is usually minimal.
- This procedure is usually the best option for people who have severe ptosis.
4. Upper blepharoplasty
- The excess skin and the fat pads around the eyes are removed or repositioned.
- Upper blepharoplasty has been shown in studies to have a wide range of beneficial functional outcomes, including increased field of vision and improvement in headache and vision-related quality of life. It should be noted that blepharoplasty does not raise the actual eyelid.
5. Brow or forehead lift
- This procedure lifts droopy eyelids by smoothing and tightening the brows and forehead:
- Coronal brow lift is a traditional procedure that involves making an incision across the top of the head from one ear to the other.
- Endoscopic brow lift is a minimally invasive technique performed through tiny incisions. It does not remove skin, however, and may not provide an adequate correction.
- The effects of a brow lift are immediate, but swelling can take up to 6 months to subside. The results are long-lasting.
- Upneeq is a new nonsurgical treatment for upper eyelid drooping that involves the use of eye drops daily to contract the muscle and lift the lid.
- Doctors claim that in patients with mild to moderate ptosis, this treatment can produce similar results to surgery, although the effect is only temporary.
- The drops, which can be used multiple times per day, only last 6 hours.
- This prescription is not suitable for everyone. It will not work as well if the ptosis is severe.
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What are the symptoms of droopy eyelids?
Eyelid drooping can cause changes to the appearance of the face and, if severe, can interfere with vision. Symptoms may present at birth in some cases. In other cases, they manifest later in life, with a gradual or abrupt onset depending on the cause. Symptoms of drooping eyelids include:
- Abnormal pupil
- Decreased ability to move the eye
- Muscle weakness
- Blurry vision
- Eye pain, itching, or discharge
What causes droopy eyelids?
Ptosis may be caused by a variety of factors. The eyelid may droop if the tendon that connects the levator muscle (which lifts the eyelid) begins to stretch. Other causes include:
- Age-related weakness
- Congenital weakness
- Underlying medical conditions
- Neurologic disease
- Result of eye surgery
Medically Reviewed on 10/13/2021
University of Utah Health. How to Fix Droopy Eyelids? https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=1_en7lxb6o
Mukamal R. First Prescription Fix for Droopy Eyelid. American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/first-prescription-fix-droopy-eyelid
Cleveland Clinic. The Best Options for Droopy Eyelids, Circles and Sags. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-options-for-droopy-eyelids-circles-and-sags/