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Blepharoptosis: Seletion of Operation, Operative Techniques, and Complications

  • Carl Cordes Johnson
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1961
  • Medicine


InfoSheetsWide.indd A m e r i c a n S o c i e t y o f O p h t h a l m i c P l a s t i c a n d R e c o n s t r u c t i v e S u r g e r y C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 0 5 , A S O P R S . A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D . What is ptosis? Ptosis is the medical term for drooping of the upper eyelid, a condition that may affect one or both eyes. When the edge of the upper eyelid falls, it may block the upper fi eld of your vision. The ptosis may be mild —in which the lid partially covers the pupil, or severe—in which the lid completely covers the pu- pil. Ptosis that is present at birth is called congenital ptosis. What are the causes? In children, the most common cause is improper develop- ment of the levator muscle, the major muscle responsible for elevating the upper eyelid. With adults, it may occur as a result of aging, trauma, or muscular or neurologic disease. As you get older, the tendon that attaches the levator muscle to the eyelid stretches and the eyelid falls, covering part of the eye. It is not uncommon for a patient to develop upper eyelid ptosis after cataract surgery. Ptosis can also be caused by injury to the oculomotor nerve (the nerve that stimulates the levator muscle), or the tendon connecting the levator muscle to the eyelid. What are the symptoms? Symptoms of ptosis include diffi culty keeping your eyes open, eyestrain, and eyebrow aching from the increased effort needed to raise your eyelids, and fatigue, especially when reading. In severe cases, it may be necessary to tilt your head back or lift the eyelid with a fi nger in order to see out from under the drooping eyelid(s). Are there other conditions associated with ptosis? Children with ptosis may also have amblyopia (“lazy eye”), strabismus (eyes that are not properly aligned or straight), refractive errors, astigmatism, or blurred vision. The condition may be the fi rst sign of myasthenia gravis, a disorder i

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