Contact Us | Patient Portal | Search:
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Eyelid drooping

 

Definition

Eyelid drooping is excessive sagging of the upper eyelid.

See also: Drooping eyelid disease

Common Causes

Both eyelids drooping:

One eyelid drooping:

  • Growth in the eyelid, such as a stye
  • Medical problem
  • Nerve injury
  • Normal aging process
  • Normal variation
Home Care

Below is a list of recommendations based on the various causes of eye drooping:

  • Caused by aging -- no treatment is necessary, unless it affects your vision.
  • Caused by an allergic reaction -- consult your doctor about antihistamine or steroid treatment.
  • Caused by nerve injury -- consult your doctor about surgical correction.

For all other causes -- follow your health care provider's recommendations.

Call your health care provider if

Contact your health care provider if:

  • Eyelid drooping is affecting your appearance or vision
  • One eyelid suddenly droops or closes
  • It is associated with other symptoms, such as double vision
What to expect at your health care provider's office

Your health care provider will get a medical history and perform a physical examination.

Medical history questions may include:

  • Are both eyelids affected or just one?
  • How long has this been present?
  • Is it getting worse or staying the same?
  • Is it present all of the time or only sometimes?
  • What other symptoms do you have?

The physical examination may include a detailed assessment of nerve functioning.

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:

Interventions:

Surgery may be necessary to correct problems with the muscles that open the eyelid (levator muscle dysfunction).

You may get special spectacle frames that suspend the eyelid by traction with a wire. Usually these frames help patients with temporary, partial paralysis, or those who are not good candidates for surgery.

After seeing your health care provider:

You may want to add a diagnosis related to eyelid drooping to your personal medical record.

Considerations

A drooping eyelid can stay constant, worsen over time (progressive), or come and go (intermittent). It can be one-sided or on both sides. When drooping is one-sided (unilateral), it is easy to detect by comparing the two eyelids. Drooping is more difficult to detect when it occurs on both sides, or if there is only a slight problem.

A furrowed forehead or a chin-up head position may indicate that someone is trying to see under their drooping lids. Eyelid drooping can make someone appear sleepy or tired.

Drooping lids are either present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. A drooping eyelid is not a reason to panic, but you should report it to your doctor.

References

Custer PL. Blepharoptosis. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, et al, eds. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2004: chap 86.


Images
Ptosis, drooping of the eyelid
Read More

Review Date: 11/10/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |