How do I Treat Drooping Eyelids?

A number of surgical techniques may be used to reduce the effect of drooping eyelids.
Massaging your temples can help with drooping eyelids.
Eye exercises may help treat slightly drooping eyelids.
Some patients undergo multiple surgeries to fully correct drooping eyelids.
An ophthalmologist may recommend surgery for older adults experiencing problems due to drooping eyelids.
Surgery may be performed to remove excess tissue of the eyelids.
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  • Written By: T. M. Robertson
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2015
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Ptosis is the condition that causes drooping eyelids. Both children and adults can experience droopy eyelids to varying degrees. In some cases, the droop is slight and barely noticeable, but in more extreme cases, the eyelid can descend over the entire pupil. In almost all cases, the most effective way to treat drooping eyelids is through surgery, but you also can treat the condition with eye exercises and medications.

Eye exercises can be an effective treatment in individuals who have slightly drooping eyelids or for individuals looking for preventative measures. There are several different exercises you can try. First, with your fingers placed on each of your temples, blink rapidly several times, then sit up straight, avoid moving your head, and rotate your eyes by looking up and down, then left to right multiple times. Next, try massaging your temples and eyebrows to stimulate circulation and trigger movement. Finally, in 10-second intervals, try moving the skin from your eyebrows down to cause your eyelids to droop, and then move them up to cause your eyelids to open.

When the condition of drooping eyelids is caused by a medical disorder or disease, the drooping eyelids can be corrected through treatment for the underlying condition. Medications can be administered, with the specific medication depending on the type of disorder or disease. The eyelids often will correct themselves during the course of treatment.


In other cases, surgery is the only effective treatment for drooping eyelids. Surgery is almost always the best solution when it comes to the most common cause of drooping eyelids: old age. When preparing for surgery, the ophthalmologist usually chooses a surgical technique based on the level of droopiness, the cause of the droopiness and the degree of function in the levator muscle, which lifts the upper eyelid. In the majority of cases, numbing injections will be used. Only in really severe cases will general anesthesia be necessary.

After numbing the region, the ophthalmologist cuts an incision and tighten the levator muscle. In cases where the levator muscle is weakened, the surgeon instead attaches the eyelid under the eyebrow. In these cases, the forehead muscles then substitute for the levator muscle's failure to move the eyelid.

Some patients must undergo multiple surgeries to fully correct the condition. Also, the eyelids might not appear symmetrical after surgery. In very rare cases, eyelid movement can be completely lost. In order to minimize these side effects, make sure to see a reputable and experienced doctor.


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Discuss this Article

Post 3

@ysmina-- My sister had ptosis of the right eye because of a sinus problem. After she had sinus surgery, the ptosis disappeared. This might be something to look into.

Post 2

@fify-- I'm glad you had a successful surgery.

I can't have surgery for my drooping eyelid symptoms because the cause is still unknown. I seem to have a facial nerve problem on one side of my face. I'll be going through numerous diagnostic testing starting next week to figure out the problem. I just hope it's not a tumor or anything like that.

Post 1

I had drooping eyelids when I was young. I think my eyes were inclined to it from childhood, but it became very apparent by the time I was in high school. I tried exercises first, as recommended by my doctor but they didn't help. Finally, during my senior year in high school, I had corrective droopy eyelid surgery to "lift" my eyelids.

It was the best decision I ever took. I found a great doctor who was in another state. My parents drove me there several times for consultation and finally for the surgery and a check-up post surgery. Everything went great and my eyelids look perfect.

I think that surgery is the best treatment, but I agree with the article that it has to be done by a good doctor or lots of things could go wrong.

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