Blepharoptosis is a condition in which one or more eyelids droop noticeably. Over time, changes to the skin, muscle, fat and bones of the face can alter the eyelids to cause drooping. The condition is common in older adults and is usually harmless.
Though usually a simple matter of cosmetics, blepharoptosis (also called ptosis), can physically disrupt vision if the eyelid skin sags too far over the eye. Individuals with ptosis report a noticeable droop and heaviness in the affected eyelid(s) that can make it difficult to read, drive a car or perform other daily tasks comfortably. In some cases, a pattern of headaches can develop, disrupting the quality of life.
Ptosis can have multiple causes but the most common form, called acquired blepharoptosis, occurs most often in older adults. The condition could be the result of a number of conditions and lifestyle situations:
- Eye injury or eye surgery
- Prolonged contact lens use
- Eye swelling or edema
- Autoimmune disorders and diseases (such as myasthenia gravis)
Most causes of ptosis are not serious; however, if eyelid drooping comes on suddenly or is accompanied by a sudden headache, dizziness or numbness, visit your nearest urgent care or emergency room. It is important to rule out stroke in cases of acute blepharoptosis.
How is ptosis treated?
Outpatient surgery, called blepharoplasty, is often performed to lift or alter the eyelid or underlying tissues for a better appearance and an unobstructed view. This surgery can be performed on upper and/or lower lids to give the patient a more youthful appearance and an unobstructed field of vision.
While an eyelift may improve wrinkling around the eyes, it won’t rid you of other facial lines or dark circles. However, the procedure can be combined with other cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate your appearance on one same-day treatment plan. While the surgical approach is highly effective for droopy eyelids, it is not the only viable option.
Prescription drops are a great option for individuals who are unable or unwilling to undergo outpatient surgery for ptosis. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a topical treatment for acquired blepharoptosis called Upneeq™. The prescription drops contain oxymetazoline, the same ingredient in Afrin nasal spray that relieves your stuffy nose. In the sinuses, oxymetazoline constricts blood vessels to reduce congestion.
When used on an upper eyelid, Upneeq contracts the muscle to provide a 1- to 2-millimeter lift. Results can occur in as little as 5 minutes and can last up to 6 hours, and the drops are safe for daily use.
You don’t have to live with a tired appearance or the disruption that comes with blepharoptosis. Consult with your ophthalmologist to find out what options are best for you, your budget, and your lifestyle. You may find out that treatment is more accessible than you think!
Matossian Eye Associates proudly offers FDA-approved Upneeq™ drops to our patients, along with outpatient surgery options for the treatment of acquired blepharoptosis. To explore your options, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors by calling us at (800) 708-8800 or through our website at MatossianEye.com.