Eyelid Drooping in One Eye: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Pathologic eyelid drooping, likewise called ptosis, may happen due to injury, age, or different medical disorders. This condition can impact one (unilateral ptosis) or both (bilateral ptosis) eyes, it may come and go, or it may be irreversible. It can be present at birth (known as congenital ptosis) or you can establish it later on in life (known as obtained ptosis).

Depending on the intensity of the condition, sagging eyelids can obstruct or significantly reduce vision depending upon how much it blocks the pupil. Most of the times, the condition will resolve, either naturally or through medical intervention.

Causes of Eyelid Drooping

There are various possible causes of droopy eyelids, varying from natural causes to more serious conditions. Your doctor will also be able to help you determine what’s triggering the concern.

Natural Causes

Anyone can get droopy eyelids, however it’s most typical in older adults since of the natural aging procedure. A tendon connects the levator muscle, which is responsible for lifting the eyelid. As you age, that muscle can extend and, as a result, cause the eyelid to fall. Remember, however, that individuals of all ages can be affected by this condition. Children are often born with it, however this is rare.human eye

Often the precise cause is unknown, however other times it might be because of injury. It can also be neurological. The most typical cause of genetic ptosis is if the levator muscle does not develop correctly, affecting your ability to open your eye.

Children who have ptosis may likewise develop amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye. This disorder can likewise delay or limit their vision.

Medical Conditions

If your eyelids are sagging, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, specifically if the problem impacts both eyelids. If simply one of your eyelids droops, it may be a result of a nerve injury or a temporary sty (inflammation and swelling of the eyelid that is usually harmless). Regular LASIK or cataract surgery is in some cases to blame for the development of ptosis, as a result of the muscle or tendon being extended.

Serious Conditions

In many cases, eyelid drooping is caused by more serious conditions, such as a stroke, brain tumor, or cancer of the nerves or muscles. Neurological conditions that impact the nerves or muscles of the eyes such as myasthenia gravis can likewise cause ptosis.

What are the Symptoms of Eyelid Drooping?

The primary symptom of eyelid drooping is that a person or both eyelids sag. In many cases, this can impact your vision. Nevertheless, many individuals find that the eyelid sagging is barely obvious or doesn’t occur all the time. You may also have extremely dry or watery eyes, and you might see that your face looks weary or worn out.

The primary problematic areas will be around the eyes, and you might experience hurting, which can likewise cause you to look exhausted. Some patients who have a severe case need to tilt their heads back at all times when speaking, even when holding a normal conversation.

A doctor must examine persistent eyelid drooping to make sure there are no hidden conditions. This is particularly important if you observe that migraine headaches or other concerns have appeared given that you first discovered the sagging.

Diagnosing Eyelid Drooping

Your doctor will likely carry out a physical examination and ask you about your medical history. As soon as you have discussed how frequently the eyelids droop and the length of time this has been occurring, your doctor will run some tests to find the cause.

A slit lamp exam may be done so that your doctor can take a close take a look at your eye with the help of high-intensity light. Your eyes might be dilated for this test, so you might experience some minor eye discomfort.

Another exam that can be used to detect concerns such as eyelid drooping is the Tensilon test. Your doctor might inject a drug called Tensilon (generic name edrophonium) into among your veins. You may be asked to cross your eyes or make other motions that use your eye muscles. Your doctor will monitor you to see if the Tensilon improves your muscle strength. This will help them determine whether muscle concerns are causing the eyelid drooping.

Treating Eyelid Drooping

The treatment for eyelid sagging depends upon the specific cause. If the condition is the result of age or is something you were born with, you might not receive treatment. Your doctor might discuss that absolutely nothing needs to be done since the condition is not usually hazardous to your health. Nevertheless, you may choose cosmetic surgery if you wish to reduce the drooping.

If your eyelid blocks your vision, you will require medical treatment. Your doctor might suggest surgery. Glasses that can hold the eyelid up are another choice. This treatment is frequently most effective when the eyelid drooping is just temporary so that you do not have to wear the glasses all the time. Glasses might likewise be recommended if you aren’t a great prospect for surgery.

Your doctor might recommend ptosis surgery. During this procedure, the levator muscle is tightened up. This will lift the eyelid up into the preferred position. Another option is a “sling” operation, in which the forehead muscles are used to elevate the eyelids.

For children who have ptosis, doctors often suggest surgery in order to prevent the onset of amblyopia or lazy eye.

If your doctor finds that your eyelid drooping is caused by an underlying condition, you will likely be treated for that. This must usually stop the eyelids from drooping.

Preventing Drooping Eyelids

There is no way to avoid eyelid drooping. Just knowing the symptoms and getting a routine eye examination can help you fight the disorder. If you discover that your child seems to have a drooping eyelid, take them to the doctor immediately to be treated and kept an eye on. Since it can impact your vision, which can impact your driving ability and other activities, you ought to take it seriously. You might have the ability to stop it from becoming worse by seeing a doctor immediately.

Eyelid drooping isn’t usually damaging to your health. However, if your eyelids block your vision, you need to prevent driving till the condition has actually been treated. Your long-lasting outlook will depend on the cause of the eyelid drooping. The majority of the time, the condition is simply a cosmetic concern. However, given that droopy eyelids can in some cases be a sign of a more hazardous condition, always consult your doctor first.

Possible Causes of Eyelid Drooping

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a typical issue of type 1 and type 2 diabetes due to unrestrained high blood glucose levels that lead to damage to the nerves. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), between 60 and 70 percent of diabetics have some type of neuropathy. (ADA).

In cases of severe or prolonged neuropathy, patients might suffer injuries or infections in their extremities or soft tissue damage that needs amputation. If you have diabetes and are experiencing numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of your hands or feet, you must see your doctor. These are the early symptoms neuropathy.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. Brain tissue loses oxygen when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds or if there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. Brain cells and tissue start to die within minutes, which causes a stroke.

Muscular Dystrophies

Muscular dystrophies are a group of acquired illness that damage and compromise your muscles with time. This damage and weakness is because of the absence of a protein called dystrophin, which is essential for regular muscle function. The lack of this protein can cause problems with walking, swallowing, and muscle coordination.

There are more than 30 various sort of muscular dystrophies, which vary in symptoms and intensity.

Muscular dystrophy can occur at any age, however a lot of diagnoses happen in childhood. Young kids are most likely to have this disease than women.

The prognosis for muscular dystrophy depends upon the type and the seriousness of symptoms. Nevertheless, a lot of people with muscular dystrophy do lose the ability to walk and eventually need a wheelchair. There’s no recognized remedy for muscular dystrophies, however particular treatments might help.

Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular condition that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are the muscles your body uses for motion. It takes place when communication in between afferent neuron and muscles ends up being impaired. This impairment avoids important contraction from taking place, resulting in muscle weakness. According to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, MG is the most typical main condition of neuromuscular transmission. It’s a reasonably unusual condition that affects in between 14 and 20 out of every 100,000 individuals in the United States.


Botulism (or botulism poisoning) is an uncommon however very serious health problem that sends through food, contact with contaminated soil, or through an open injury. Without early treatment, botulism can cause paralysis, breathing troubles, and death.

There are three primary types of botulism:

  • infant botulism
  • foodborne botulism
  • injury botulism.

Botulism poisoning is due to a toxin produced by a type of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Although very common, these bacteria can just grow in conditions where there’s no oxygen. Particular food sources, such as home-canned foods, supply a powerful breeding place.

Inning accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 145 cases of botulism are reported every year in the United States. About 3 to 5 percent of those with botulism poisoning pass away.


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