This was never a problem when I was younger and nobody ever mentioned my eyes. When I turned 17 I started to notice in pictures my eyes looked strange then I joined the marine corps and it got worse. People started pointing out that my eyes were "uneven". It really hit my self confidence hard and I have trouble looking people in the eye worried they might mention my eyes. I also squint alot now especially in pictures to hide my condition. Some days are almost unnoticeable and others much worse
I Believe I Have Ptosis, What is the Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Upper Eyelid Dropping? (photo)
Doctor Answers (5)
Diagnosing and treating late onset ptosis
From the photos you sent, the ptosis is pretty obvious. When someone is born with ptosis, it may have gotten a little worse as they got older. If it is a new onset of ptosis, we have to rule out a neurologic cause or any other issue.
In my practice, when people complain that they notice they have droopy lids, I ask them to bring some old pictures. There we see that there has been some drooping in the past. A lot of times, people would compensate by raising their eyebrows and getting their eyes to open. They just don’t notice that as time goes on, the ptosis may get worse. Other things that can be related to ptosis can be eye rubbing or wearing of contact lenses. The first thing that you should do is be evaluated for any medical issue related to ptosis.
Assuming there are no deeper issues causing ptosis, the next step would be pursuing ptosis repair. It’s normal to have slightly uneven eyes as long it’s within 1-2 millimeters. When it becomes more than 1-2 millimeters, then people notice a difference between the eyes. When I do a ptosis correction, I always try to get them as symmetric as possible; within a millimeter is a very good result.
What we typically do in ptosis repair is advance a muscle called levator muscle. This is the muscle that lifts the eyelid. We also shorten the muscle in order to allow the eyelid to come up. During the surgery, we let the patient cooperate by letting them open their eyes. Once the eyelids come up, we can see that the balance, shape, height and contour of the eyes are equal. More than 95% of the time, it comes out ideally to the patient’s satisfaction. There are also a few patients who need enhancement where the eyelid is too low or too high.
Have yourself evaluated by an eye doctor or ophthalmologist, or specifically an oculoplastic surgeon who has a background on ophthalmology and specializes in eyelid surgery to determine whether or not there is a medical issue. If there are no issues, consider a cosmetic or reconstructive type of ptosis operation. I hope that was helpful, and thank you for your question.
You certainly do have a mild left upper eyelid ptosis. I would recommend consultation with an oculoplastic surgeon. You can find one close to you by clicking on link below.
Upper eyelid ptosis
The pictures do show ptosis of the patient's left upper lid. This is best treated by an oculoplastic surgeon who can tighten the muscle inside the eyelid. The incisions can be placed either on the inside of the eyelid or outside of the eyelid in the natural crease.
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An ophthalmologist is not an oculoplastic surgeon.
You might get lucky and find a general ophthalmologist with solid training for performing ptosis surgery. However, this is more the exception than the rule. For this reason, your best bet would be seeing a fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeon. The American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) has a geographic directory on their website that can assist you finding a well qualified surgeon close to home. There are various approaches to ptosis and which surgery is right for you will depend on your consultation with the surgeon.
I Believe I Have Ptosis, What is the Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Upper Eyelid Dropping?
Your best bet would be a consultation with an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon. Surgery is the only durable solution to the problem of eyelid ptosis. Ensure that you see a ptosis repair expert as a standard upper eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) will not fix this problem. I hope this information is helpful.
Stephen Weber, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Lone Tree Facial Plastic Surgeon
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.