Definition of Ptosis

Ptosis – drooping of the upper eyelid – often is a consequence of muscle weakness or neurologic damage, and is sometimes a symptom of a neurologic condition such as myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy.

Ptosis may be congenital (present at birth), the result of underdevelopment or absence of the levator muscle that raises the eyelid – also may develop with advanced age, reflecting weakening of the muscles that control the eyelid.

When the drooping obscures vision, surgery to raise the eyelid is necessary to prevent amblyopia. Surgery may result in a slight asymmetry in the movements of the upper eyelids, particularly in congenital ptosis, when the levator muscle is missing and the surgeon must configure eyelid movement to make use of other muscles.

Generally no treatment is necessary when the ptosis does not interfere with vision, except as desired for cosmetic purposes.


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