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Do Heavy Eyelids Impair Your Vision? You May Have Ptosis

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While blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can be used strictly for a patient's cosmetic desires, there are many patients that can gain functional benefits. Some people suffer from ptosis, or drooping eyelids. While some sagging skin in the eyelids is natural with age, for some people ptosis can greatly impair your vision. Read on to learn more about ptosis and how upper blepharoplasty can help.

What Causes Ptosis?

There are numerous causes for this condition. Some people have congenital ptosis through autosomal dominant inheritance—meaning, their parents passed down this trait. Seniors are at risk for ptosis, because as you age, the muscles around and in your eyelids naturally deteriorate. Some seniors with ptosis merely have a cosmetic issue, while others may develop obstructed vision.

Besides hereditary and age, accidents and many medical conditions can cause this issue as a side effect. For instance, if you were in an accident where your face was injured, nerve damage could cause ptosis. Cancers, strokes, tumors, and neurological disorders have all been known to cause ptosis.

How Is it Diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose ptosis through a slit lamp test. During this test, your eyes will be dilated and the doctor will use a high-beam light to examine your eyes for irregularities. If your ptosis is caused by another medical condition, then focusing on the root cause may be enough to fix your droopy lids.

If you have ptosis along with double vision, chewing/speech difficulties, or leg/arm weakness, your doctor may test for myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness. Your doctor will perform a Tensilon test, where you will be injected with Tensilon—a drug used to reverse muscle relaxing. Then your doctor will have you perform a series of movements—like standing and sitting several times—to see if your muscle strength has improved.

How Can Upper Blepharoplasty Help?

Lower blepharoplasty deals with your lower lids and skin beneath your eyes, while upper blepharoplasty is a procedure that focuses on your upper lids. During this surgery, a doctor will make an incision to remove a small piece of skin on your upper lids and then close the incision in your eyelid crease. This surgery is a fantastic way to fix ptosis that is interfering with your vision. You shouldn't have to tilt back your head anymore to see clearly.

If you cannot schedule surgery right away, you may want to invest in a ptosis crutch. These are glasses with small ring-like attachments that will keep your eyelids from drooping. If ptosis is interfering with your life, contact a cosmetic surgeon as soon as possible.