What Is Ptosis?

Ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelid(s) droops. The eyelid may droop only slightly or it may droop enough to partially or completely cover the pupil. This can restrict or obscure the person’s field of vision and should be corrected. Note that ptosis should not be confused with extra skin, fat, or muscle in the eyelid area. That is caused by a condition known as dermatochalasis and can be addressed with blepharoplasty surgery. When ptosis can be shown to reduce peripheral vision, its surgical correction may be covered by insurance. If the degree of ptosis is not severe, it may be considered elective surgery.

The most common type of ptosis occurs in adults and is caused by a weakening of the attachment between the muscle that raises the upper lid and the tarsus near the eyelid margin. This typically occurs as a result of the aging process, after cataract surgery, following contact lens wear, or from an injury. In cases of sudden onset of ptosis, there may be other causes that should be evaluated by an oculoplastic specialist.

Ptosis surgery is an outpatient procedure that involves tightening the muscle that lifts your eyelid. The specific surgical approach taken depends on testing performed during your consultation with one of our oculoplastic surgeons. Your surgeon will discuss your treatment options and will perform testing to determine whether your ptosis may be medically necessary and covered by your insurance carrier.


Portrait of bearded man looking at camera isolated over white background