Congenital Ptosis

Ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelid falls to a position that is lower than normal. The drooping eyelid can cover part or all of the pupil and interfere with vision, resulting in amblyopia. Ptosis can affect one eye or both eyes.

Ptosis may be present at birth or develop later in life. If a droopy eyelid is present at birth or within the first year of life, the condition is called congenital ptosis. In most cases of moderate or severe congenital ptosis, surgery is required to tighten the eyelid muscles or suspend the eyelid from the brow so that the eyelid is not covering the line of sight. If the ptosis is severe, surgery may be recommended in infancy. Often surgery is delayed until a child is 3 or 4 years old.

Amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” is decreased vision in one or both eyes caused by lack of use. This condition can occur with congenital ptosis. If amblyopia is present, treatment with patching, eyeglasses, or eyedrops may also be necessary. If left untreated, amblyopia may lead to permanent vision loss.

(c) 2007 The American Academy of Ophthalmology

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This post was written by Rob Schertzer