Ptosis is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid, is a condition that can affect one or both eyes.
Ptosis can occur in children and adults. This condition may occur in adults as a result of aging, trauma, muscular, or neurological disease. The most common cause of ptosis in children is improper development of the major muscle responsible for elevating the upper lid, the levator muscle. Symptoms include eyestrain or fatigue, especially when reading, and difficulty keeping the eyes open. In severe cases, it may become necessary to tilt your head back or lift your eyelid in order to see clearly.
In adults, the surgical technique usually involves an incision in the crease of the lid, then tightening the muscle that raises the lid. Sometimes a blepharoplasty is done at the same time - removal of extra skin, muscle, and fat. A ptosis repair can be done inside the lid so an incision is not even visible. Surgery in adults is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and with the patient lightly sedated.
With children, ptosis is treated surgically and usually involves tightening of the levator muscle in order to elevate the eyelid to the desired position. The other option in children is to use a rubber band-like sling that is attached to the eyelid under the skin and connected to the forehead muscles. Children with ptosis should be watched closely with eye exams on a regular basis, both before and after surgery.