The skin around our eyes is so delicate and sensitive that it is easily damaged. It also tends to be affected by what else is going on in your body, such as health issues or poor diet.
If you look in the mirror and find that one or both of your eyelids is lower than normal, then it could be due to a number of different issues. This includes trauma, age and certain medical problems.
Having a single droopy eyelid is called unilateral ptosis. When both appear to droop this is referred to as bilateral ptosis. It can be something you experience on occasion or a state that is consistent.
Some babies are born with congenital ptosis, which means their eyelids naturally droop.
If you develop it later in life the medical term is acquired ptosis. Normally it’s largely a cosmetic issue. You may feel self-conscious that your eyelids look like they are hanging too low. However, in severe cases, droopy eyelids can reduce your field of vision. That’s because they block your pupil from receiving enough information.
Sometimes people develop this condition due to age. The connective tissue in their eyelids slackens and stretches, and the droop effect happens. It can also be due to damage to the eyelids, which is one reason you should be careful not to rub or drag them too hard, too often.
Having a stye – a pimple on your eyelash follicle – can also drag your eyelid lower than usual. There are occasions when people experience a droopy eye as a result of neurological issues and nerve damage. This is less common and sometimes associated with brain tumours and cancer.
Causes of droopy eye can sometimes remain a mystery.
Often a droopy eyelid or lids will disappear after a few days. If the problem persists, or it’s accompanied by migraines or vision problems, you seek advice from a medical professional.
An optometrist can carry out a number of tests to narrow down the potential origin, including investigating your general muscle tone. It’s highly recommended that you seek medical help if one eyelid droops severally or you have other signs of facial tics or numbness.
Your doctor may reassure you that your droopy eyelids are harmless and temporary. Even if it is permanent, it could pose no risk to your health or vision. In this case, you may opt to have it rectified with cosmetic surgery.
If droopy eyelids are affecting your vision, your doctor may recommend corrective surgery. Or, there are special glasses that can be worn to support your eyelid, for a less invasive option.
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