Is eyelid ptosis a weak muscle problem and can that muscle be strengthened with exercise?

My understanding of ptosis is that the problem is lax muscle(s) and the correction is a tightening of that muscle, is that correct? I know there are eyelid and face exercises available (with differing opinions on effectiveness) and it seems to me that strengthening the muscles could fix this lax muscle issue. What type of exercise might be effective for ptosis? 

Doctor Answers 7

Can exercise help eyelid ptosis ?

This is a good question. Ptosis usually results from the levator muscle loosening or stretching.  Rarely it is from underlying weak muscle.  Neither case is going to improve with any muscle exercising.  The only real treatment is tightening the muscle to make it "stronger".  See an oculoplastic surgeon.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews


In ptosis, the tendon which is attached to the muscle gets stretched and the lid will droop.  There are no exercises you can do to strenghen the muslce.  The only option is surgical repair.   

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Your thinking is logical but not correct.

Exercising the upper eyelid will not cure or correct your ptosis.  Acquired upper eyelid ptosis is often the cause of an issue with the tendon and not the muscle itself.  Opening and closing the eyelid is actually just as likely to further weaken the upper eyelid.  Surgery shortens the tendon to repair the ptosis.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Is eyelid ptosis a weak muscle problem and can that muscle be strengthened with exercise?

There are a variety of causes of an eyelid droop. However, the only durable repair option is surgical. There are drops that can be used to raise the lid but these are used only in cases of a temporary eyelid droop (Botox related) or for in office assessment prior to surgery. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

It's a mechanical problem

Eyelid ptosis is usually a mechanical problem due to a weakness or detachment of the muscles that raise your eyelid. It can also be secondary to medical problems

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Will exercise help eyelid ptosis

in ptosis, the majority of the time the muscle has detached from the insertion on the eyelid cartilage, what is called the tarsal plate,leaving a gap between where the muscle is and where it should be. Strengthening the muscle unfortunately will not bring the muscle any  closer to the cartilage and will not fix the ptosis.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Causes of Ptosis (Droopy Eyelid)

There are multiple causes of ptosis: congenital; acquired; neurogenic (nerve related)' aponeurotic (tendon related); myogenic (muscle weakness); and traumatic.  There are no known exercises to strengthen the muscle.  When it becomes visually bothersome or aesthetically displeasing then it is time for a surgical evaluation.  I hope this helps.  

John R. Burroughs, MD
Colorado Springs Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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.