Droopy Eyelids


When a child’s eyelid droops, she has a condition referred to as ptosis, and the prolapse can last a lifetime. When a child is born with this condition, the eyelid is mostly stable and will not worsen throughout her life. The eyelid is unlike any other part of your child’s body as it has no subcutaneous fat and is among the thinnest layers of the body. The eyelid functions to bind the muscles that surround the eye so repair of your child’s drooping eyelid may be necessary.

Ptosis is a drooping of the upper lid of one or both eyes. Many children have ptosis, and we have found that a conservative course of treatment is best suited to their needs. Basically, we need to ensure that they maintain good vision in each eye, and then as they grow older, we can consider correction of the ptosis.

It is important that we follow children with ptosis to ensure the normal development of their vision. Children with ptosis will often raise their eyebrows to raise the eyelid, and may also hold the head back to see out from under the eyelid. This allows them to see normally, despite the droopy lid.

To correct the ptosis, the lid that is drooping is raised to match the level of the other lid.  In addition, the curve of the drooping lid is carefully matched to the curve of the other eye. If both eyes have ptosis, then we correct both eyes. This is done as an outpatient, under general anesthesia, and the child goes home the same day. We usually consider correcting the ptosis when the child has reached the age of 3 1/2 to 5 years old. By this age, children have grown, and their eyelid structures are more developed, which gives us a much better result.

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