Ptosis is a condition characterized by a drooping of the eyelid. It can manifest at any age although it tends to be common in the elderly and in children. Ptosis occurs when the muscles that raise the eyelid cannot do so properly, and may occur in one eye or both eyes. Ptosis interferes with proper vision and may cause headaches when the sufferer tries to elevate the eyelids throughout the day.
Causes of Ptosis
Ptosis can be congenital with no known cause, while it can also be a sign or symptom of underlying disease such as diabetes or a pancreatic tumor. In other cases, ptosis can arise upon exposure to certain toxins present in snake venom. Congenital ptosis may also occur when the levators or the muscles that pull up the eyelids fail to develop. Ptosis occurs in the elderly when the eyelids begin to lose elasticity, causing the skin on the eyelids to sag and drape over the eyes.
Diagnosis is done by an eye specialist and by inspecting the affect eyelid. The doctor may also ask questions regarding family medical history, medications being taken and other relevant information. Special tests may be conducted to rule out other diseases.
For mild cases, the patient is instructed to perform exercises to strengthen the weak muscles. Glasses that are designed with crutches to hold up the droopy eyelid may also be used. Surgery is recommended for severe cases. Called a blepharoplasty, this surgery is done to tighten the levator muscles, pulling the droopy eyelid up and improving vision. When the levator muscles are too underdeveloped or damaged to pull the eyelids up, the surgeon may also attach them to the muscles along the eyebrow, so that the eyelid can be lifted up by the forehead muscles instead.
There are mild cases of ptosis that can be treated with small amounts of the botulinum toxin. Spastic ptosis is a condition when the patient exhibits an uncontrollable blinking of the eye which is believed to be caused by a problem with the orbicularis oculi muscle. In such cases, injecting the area with small doses of the botulinum toxin can relax the muscle and make the uncontrollable blinking go away. Results are not immediate, however. It may take as long as two weeks for the muscle to stop twitching. Dry eyes is also a common side effect.
Immediate treatment is crucial. When the condition is left untreated, it could lead to lazy eye or amblyopia. Timely treatment is crucial for a person to regain the full use of the levator muscles and to avoid other minor effects such as impaired vision and headaches.
It is important to note that surgery can lead to complications. Blood clots, excessive bleeding and facial nerve damage could arise from surgery. The condition can also reoccur even after a successful operation.
If you or a loved one is looking for an eye specialist Fort Worth is home one of the best eye doctors who specializes in treating conditions such as these. Seek out treatment for ptosis today to regain normal vision as soon as possible. Call Dr. Marvelli and schedule your consultation today.