Blepharoptosis, also called ptosis (pronounced TOE-sis), is a drooping of one or both upper eyelids that is not only cosmetically undesirable but can also physically disrupt vision. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new eyedrop treatment for acquired blepharoptosis that offers quick, long-lasting results and is safe for daily use. Matossian Eye Associates is one of the first practices in the area to offer this new treatment, known as Upneeq.
Upneeq™ (oxymetazoline hydrochloride) 0.1% is a once-daily ophthalmic solution that is shown to provide a visible lift to a droopy eyelid in just 5-15 minutes. The lift can last up to 6 hours, making the drops a highly effective method of relief for ptosis.
What is acquired blepharoptosis? Is it dangerous?
Individuals with ptosis report a noticeable droop and heaviness in the affected eyelid(s). Most of the time, particularly when one eye sags more than the other, the condition is no more than a nuisance that may cause self-consciousness. However, if ptosis is pronounced enough, the upper eyelid can obstruct vision and even cause headaches. This can make it difficult to read, drive a car or perform other daily tasks comfortably.
What causes ptosis?
There are two primary classes of blepharoptosis: congenital (ptosis a person is born with) and acquired blepharoptosis.
There can be many causes of acquired blepharoptosis, most of which are not serious. The condition is generally a cosmetic concern, but severe drooping of an eyelid can sometimes affect vision.
Upneeq™ is indicated for use in acquired blepharoptosis, which occurs most often in older adults and has a number of causes:
- Eye injury
- Prolonged contact lens use
- Eye surgery
- Pressure on the eyelid from edema, cysts or sagging eyelid skin
- Myasthenia gravis
- Autoimmune disorders
NOTE: If you notice a sudden onset of eye drooping, contact your primary care physician. If the drooping is sudden and is accompanied by a headache, numbness, dizziness or other concerning symptoms, visit your nearest urgent care or emergency room to rule out stroke.
What treatments are available?
Surgery is a common treatment for ptosis. The procedure physically alters the skin, muscle or other tissues to lift the upper eyelid for a better appearance and an unobstructed view. This can be done on an outpatient basis.
While surgery is highly effective, it is not right for everyone. Surgery can be expensive as well as risky for certain patients.
For some patients, it is comforting to experience that lift via drops before committing to a surgical procedure. Upneeq™ is the latest topical treatment for ptosis and is extremely effective in providing a powerful temporary lift for individuals who are unable or unwilling to undergo corrective surgery in the foreseeable future.
How does Upneeq™ work?
Upneeq™ contains oxymetazoline, the same ingredient in Afrin nasal spray that relieves your stuffy nose. While oxymetazoline in the sinuses constricts blood vessels to reduce congestion, in the eye it contracts the muscle of the upper eyelid. This constriction lifts the lid 1-2 millimeters.
Upneeq™ is available only by prescription. To learn more about this effective ptosis treatment, contact Matossian Eye Associates.
You can schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at your convenience by calling us at (800) 708-8800 or through our online scheduler at MatossianEye.com.