Ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelid droops down over the eye. Mild cases of Ptosis involve only mild blockage of the eye, while more severe cases involve coverage of the pupil (the black circle at the center of the eye). While it is sometimes associated with old age, the truth is that both children and adults can develop the condition. Fortunately, there are treatments, like Ptosis Repair, that can address this issue, giving patients the gift of unbridled vision.
The eyelids are designed to keep foreign objects or debris from getting into the eyes. They also ensure that tears are spread evenly over the surface of the eye to maintain proper moisture. The muscles that connect the eye sockets to the eyelids, known as the levator muscles, are designed to lift the eyelid and keep it out of one’s line of vision. If the levator muscle becomes damaged or stops working properly this leads to Ptosis.
While this issue is primarily a functional concern, it can also contribute to cosmetic issues like forehead wrinkles. This is simply due to the fact that patients with ptosis need to use their forehead muscles more frequently to see properly.
What causes Ptosis?
Ptosis can be caused by multiple factors. In some cases it can be congenital, meaning that the levator muscle doesn’t develop properly in the womb. Congenital ptosis must be diagnosed and treated early on, as it can lead to other vision problems, such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or astigmatism, a condition in which the cornea is irregularly curved. This can lead to distortion and blurriness for both near and far vision.
Aging is another factor that can contribute to the development of ptosis. Like any other muscle in the body, the levator muscle is susceptible to degradation after years and years of use. Ptosis can also result from nerve and muscular disorders, such as myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy. Traumatic injury to the eyelids can also be a factor.
What are some signs that indicate the need for Ptosis Repair?
While the most obvious sign to look out for is simply drooping eyelids, there are other conditions that indicate a more exacerbated condition. Such cases should be treated immediately to avoid any potential issues or accidents down the line.
For example, patients who find that they have to tilt their head back or lift up their head frequently in order to see in front of them should be treated right away. This is a clear indication that their vision is severely obstructed. Failing to treat the issue in time could allow for accidents to occur. Simple tasks such as driving or even just walking around outside could be hazardous, as the patient may fail to see objects that are in front of them.
The only surefire way to diagnose a case of Ptosis is to schedule a consultation with a certified eye doctor. These specialists will review the patient’s health history to figure out when the condition may have begun or whether it may have been caused by some type of injury or trauma.
The doctor may also look into the patient’s family history in order to rule out the possibility of a hereditary condition, such as myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy. Recent changes in health will also be of note to the specialist.
Once all notes on the patient’s medical history are made, the ophthalmologist performs an eye exam to assess the patient’s overall eye health. This includes a visual field test, which evaluates the patient’s superior vision. The pupils will also be examined for any abnormalities that can result from ptosis, specifically in cases that are caused by nerve issues.
If the physician believes that the patient’s symptoms have resulted from an underlying medical condition, they may perform blood tests to rule out the possibility of an auxiliary condition that may be causing the problem.
With the information gleaned from these tests, patients will have the option to decide whether they want to undergo Ptosis surgery or not. The physician will review the data and make a suggestion based on his findings.
What is the takeaway?
Ptosis is a life-altering condition that must be taken seriously. If left untreated, it can put the sufferer in danger of hurting themselves due to not being able to see properly. As such, it is best for patients to schedule a consultation right away so that they can figure out what is going on and decide the best course of action, and if ptosis repair is right for them.