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Drooping Eyelid (Ptosis)

What Is a Droopy Eyelid?

A droopy eyelid is the common term for ptosis, a condition where typically the upper eyelid droops over the eye. Sometimes ptosis is congenital, meaning it affects children from the time of birth. When adults have a droopy eyelid, it is most commonly from excess upper eyelid skin or from a weakening of the muscle that lifts the lid.  This is called involutional ptosis. This happens when the levator muscle stretches or separates from its eyelid attachment and can no longer open the eyelid fully. Causes of droopy eyelids in adults include:

  • Aging

  • Diseases or tumors, such as Horner’s syndrome

  • Eyelid injuries


Symptoms of abnormal eyelid drooping include:

  • Blocked vision — Sometimes the eyelid can droop so much that it covers part of the pupil, the black dot in the middle of the eye. This can partially or completely block normal sight. In children, ptosis can lead to amblyopia, also called lazy eye.

  • A heavy eyelid feeling – This is due to the eyelid skin weighing the lid down.

Treatment Options

To treat a droopy eyelid, doctors perform an eyelid surgery called blepharoplasty to remove the excess skin and sometimes reattach the levator muscle so it works better. This surgery may be done to improve the cosmetic appearance of the eyelid but insurance only pays for surgery that helps restore vision.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of a drooping eyelid, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat a drooping eyelid.