Have you ever observed someone with droopy eyelids? If so, this eyelid disorder is known as ptosis (pronounced “toesis”). Sometimes the droop can be very noticeable while other times it is barely seen. Ptosis can occur in children and adults. It can result from a muscle or nerve defect, or it is more commonly seen in the elderly as a result of the natural loosening of skin. It can also result from other more serious conditions such as diabetes and tumors. Ptosis can affect one or both eyes.
Regardless of how noticeable the lid droop may be, it is very important to make sure the lid droop does not interfere with seeing. When the lids droop over the pupils, people compensate by tilting their heads back to see under the eyelids or they will raise their eyebrows (creating wrinkles in the forehead) to move the eyelids out of the way. In babies, they do not understand how to compensate; therefore, they can have permanent vision problems if this is not detected and corrected early on.
The easiest way to know if you have a ptosis is to compare old and recent photos of yourself. You may be surprised to see that a moderate change has been occurring with the droopiness of your eyelids over the years. If this is the case, you should see your eye care provider and have a visual field test. The results of this test can point out if you are not seeing things around you like you are supposed to. If this test confirms that any part of your field of vision is blocked because of your eyelids drooping, a surgical procedure (blepharoplasty) can be done to correct this. Also, if the drooping eyelids do cause a field defect, the surgery is not considered a cosmetic surgery. Many insurance companies will recognize this as a medically necessary procedure and may assist you with benefits to cover the surgical procedure. Children born with ptosis require early treatment in order for proper vision to develop. Failure to treat ptosis can result in amblyopia (diminished vision in one eye) and a lifetime of poor vision. All children with ptosis, even mild cases, should visit their eye care practitioner every year so the doctor can monitor the lid positioning and any potential vision problems caused by congenital ptosis. If you have noticed that someone, a child or yourself, has ptosis, make an appointment to see an eye care provider immediately. If you are in need of an eye care provider, I invite you to visit EnVision Eye Care. We have the technology to perform the necessary equipment to make the appropriate referral for surgery if it is needed. 321 W. Montgomery Crossroads, Savannah
(near Hunter Golf Course and VA Medical Clinic). For appointments, call (912)
927-0707 and visit us at www.envisionsavannah.com