Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis) – Causes and Treatments

Tina Patel Tina Patel
Tuesday, 15 November 2022 Share this blog: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy link Copy Link

What are droopy eyelids? Also called ptosis (pronounced: tow-siss) or lazy eye, droopy eyelids occur when an eyelid droops down, causing your eye to appear partially closed. When one eyelid is drooped, it’s called unilateral ptosis. When both eyelids are drooped it’s called bilateral ptosis. This can be caused by several factors, including eye injury and ageing.

Person staring with one droopy eyelid

Eyelid problems such as ptosis don’t affect your vision; however, it can obstruct your view if the upper eyelid droops down far enough to cover the pupil. Cosmetically, this can give a tired look to the individual. Below we discuss how drooping eyes can occur and if/when you should seek medical attention.

What causes eyelids to droop?

Risk factors of droopy eyelids:

  • Loose skin from ageing
  • Weak facial muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injury
  • Eye disease
  • Botox injections

Some individuals can be born with ptosis (referred to as congenital ptosis). Symptoms can include muscle ache around the eyebrow due to the strain of trying to keep the eyelid open. Droopy eyelids are usually caused by ageing. As we get older, our skin starts to lose collagen and, therefore, some of its elasticity, causing the skin to stretch and drop. The delicate skin around our eyes is thinner than the rest of the face, making this area especially prone to sagging over time.

Diseases that may cause eyelid drooping:

What treatments are there for droopy eyelids?

Depending on the severity, medical advice may be unnecessary for ptosis. There are some cases where surgery is recommended. In these surgeries, the doctor will reattach the muscle. They may also remove excess skin around the eyelid area.

Person pushing their eyebrow up with one finger

How to fix droopy eyelids without surgery?

Non-surgical treatments include prescription eye drops. Ptosis crutches (glasses) can also be used. These glasses are designed to support the eyelid as they have support at the lens's upper level to support the affected eyelid's weaker muscles. Medication is also an option, as well as using eyelid tape. If your eyelids affect your vision, you should book an appointment with your optician, who will examine your eyes and give additional information on treatment.

Can you fix droopy eyelids from Botox?

It isn’t possible to correct eyelid sag with Botox, as the substance cannot remove or reduce the amount of skin. Drooping eyelids can actually happen as a result of Botox injected around the forehead/eye areas. This is because sometimes the Botox migrates to other unintended areas of the face. Drooping lids from Botox is temporary, usually only lasting a few weeks.

Can you fix droopy eyelids with home remedies?

As ptosis is an issue with the muscle around the eye area or with excess skin, no home remedies will treat it. Some of the at-home ‘solutions’ people may attempt are:

Cold compresses like cucumbers or tea bags

Although this will reduce swelling of the eyes and potentially reduce dark circles under your eyes, this treatment cannot treat ptosis.

Facial exercises

Face yoga has been hailed as a brilliant way to give a more youthful appearance to the face, but there isn’t enough evidence to support this. Just as eye yoga probably cannot tighten or smooth the skin of the eye area, it also cannot treat eyelid sag.

A balanced diet

Some have claimed that eating a nutritious diet will help treat sagging eyelids. Although a varied and healthy diet will support overall health and should be pursued for those benefits, it cannot treat drooping eyelids.

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