Drooping eyelids is a common part of aging and can be due to excess eyelid skin (dermatochalasis) or weakening or stretching of the muscles (ptosis).
Symptoms of a Drooping Eyelid
The most obvious symptom of ptosis is the drooping eyelid itself. Other symptoms include difficulty shutting or opening the eye, extra skin on or around the eyelid, or the need to tilt your head back in order to see better. Eye fatigue, misaligned eyes, or double vision can also accompany ptosis. Many experts recommend that you compare a photo of yourself from ten years ago to a recent one to see if there is a difference in your eyelids. If there is, you may have developed ptosis.
Often your eye doctor will be able to diagnose you with an exam of your affected eyelid. He or she will ask you questions about your symptoms, family medical history, and personal medical history. In some cases medical tests are conducted to determine the cause of acquired ptosis. Because there are a number of reasons why an eyelid might droop, it is highly recommended that you get a diagnosis from an eye doctor, even if symptoms are mild.
Treating a Drooping Eyelid
If symptoms of ptosis are mild, treatment may not be necessary. Specific treatment is usually directed towards the underlying cause. In moderate to severe cases, surgery may be the only option to correct the eyelid. This may be done with a surgical procedure called a blepharoplasty or levator advancement.