What is a droopy eyelid?
Overtime, our skin tends to lose its elasticity and our muscles its hypertrophy. And as a result, we would likely to get a symptom of aging such as sagginess. Particularly when it comes to our faces, our eyes may show the passage of time with increasingly droopy eyelids also called ptosis. In this case, the edge of the upper eyelid falls to a lower height than normal, and in extreme cases, the drooping eyelid can cover the entire or a part of the pupil that could interfere with vision.
The disorder could either affect one eye (unilateral ptosis) or both eyes (bilateral ptosis). It may be present at birth (congenital ptosis) or it may gradually develop later in life (acquired ptosis) due to aging, injury or even an aftereffect of a remedial eye surgery. Most are nothing to worry about, while others can be handled, but the severity of the condition depends on how much it blocks the pupil that can significantly decrease vision. Droopy eyelid may be a remote problem affecting people’s appearances, but in certain cases the condition may be a warning sign for a more serious condition affecting the nerves, muscles or even the brain.
The most obvious symptom is the droopy eyelid itself. One or both upper eyelids may sag but the droop may be unnoticeable in many cases and it does not cause pain. You may also have extremely dry or watery eyes, and you may notice that your face looks weary or tired.
Just by looking yourself in the mirror you could evaluate the problem yourself. By thorough examination of your eye, you should be able to see a considerable part of your iris (the eye's colored circle) above your pupil, and make sure no eyelid should ever cover any part of your pupil.
Individuals with droopy eyelids might have trouble seeing, especially if the eyelid covers enough of the eye to impair vision in some cases. Depending on how severely the eyelid droops, people would often lean their heads back to try to see under the eyelid’s lower margin or they would repeatedly raise their eyebrows to compensate for the visual block, which can tire the muscles in the face. The main areas affected will be around the eyes, and you may experience aching, which can also cause you to look tired.
- Self-check for droopy eyelids
The easy way to diagnose whether you have a droopy eyelid is just comparing some of your old photographs to your current one, this method could easily confirm the diagnosis because it can show that your eyelids have slowly weakened over the years.
Another way to know that you have a droopy eyelid is to compare a recent image of your face with one from 10 or 20 years ago. The degree of droopiness varies between individuals and if you think you may be having droopy eyelids, you will possibly see a difference in the skin of the eyelid.
- Visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis
In other cases of droopy eyelids, the doctor will perform a usual medical routine of checking your physical exam, medical history, and symptoms including when do those drooping had begun and if you recently had some sort of eye injury or trauma. After you have clarified how often your eyelids droop, the doctor would carry out some tests to find out the cause.
- Slit lamp exam would be one of the tests that the doctor would perform on you, this would include using a high-intensity light so that your doctor could take a close look at your eye, and check how severe the condition is. While conducting the test your eyes may be dilated and experience some minor eye irritation.
- Another assessment would be the Tensilon test, this time the doctor would inject you with some short and rapid-acting anticholinesterase drug called edrophonium. The doctor would then evaluate whether the drug revamps your muscle strength or hypertrophy. The analysis will enable them to see whether a condition called myasthenia gravis; a neuromuscular disorder that causes muscle atrophy, is the one causing the droopy eyelid.
Since droopy eyelids are sometimes associated with hereditary disorders, such as myasthenia gravis and muscular dystrophy, the family history and recent health changes would probably be also investigated by the doctor.
Droopy eyelids in Singapore is usually treated with surgery. In fact, there hasn’t been other alternative that has proven better results than surgery. TES Clinic in Singapore performs thorough consultation and assessment. At TES Clinic, when the doctor finds that an underlying condition is the one causing your droopy eyelid, you would receive an appropriate treatment for that. This should allow you to keep your eyelids intact and not drooping. If the droopy eyelid obstructs your vision and seriously affects your appearance, a plastic surgery is usually recommended.
- Temporary fix
In some cases when the droopy eyelid is only temporary, the doctor could administer you with a special kind of glasses. Glasses that can hold the eyelid up, called a ptosis crutch; a nonsurgical method that involves adding an attachment to the frames of your glasses.
- Watchful waiting
While surgery usually is the best treatment for drooping eyelids but that is not always the case. Knowing the cause and the severity of the ptosis is crucial and still the right way of finding out what treatment should be given to the patient. If you are born with the condition and it’s a ramification of aging, your doctor may suggest to you that nothing needs to be done when the condition is not at all harmful to your health. Nonetheless, if you want to eliminate the bothersome droopiness, you should opt for plastic surgery. But take note that overcorrecting is also a potential complication that can lead to further surgery, so watchful waiting is recommended before committing to droopy eyelid surgery.
TES Clinic for Face & Jaw
304 Orchard Road,
Lucky Plaza Suites #05-42, Medical Specialists,
+65 9735 9930