Ptosis (droopy upper eyelid)
Ptosis means “abnormal lowering of a tissue or organ”.
Blepharoptosis or upper eyelid ptosis refers to a droopy upper eyelid.
Ptosis of the upper eyelid is a common problem. It can be a congenital problem (children can be born with a droopy upper eyelid) but ptosis is far more often acquired (onset is often in middle-age or later).
Drooping of the upper eyelid occurs if the muscle that pulls upper eyelid upwards (the levator muscle) becomes stretched or it’s attachment to the upper eyelid is weakened. This can happen with ageing but can also occur after eye surgery, contact lens wear and injury to the eyelid.
A mild ptosis can be a cosmetic concern because it can result in asymmetry of the appearance of the eyes. A droopy upper eyelid can convey a tired appearance.
More often ptosis is severe enough to also interfere with vision. The upper eyelid may droop over the pupil and obstruct light entering the eye. This may be particularly noticeable when looking down to read or at the end of the day when tired.