Palpebral ptosis or drooping eyelids: what they are and what they consist of

Vertebral ptosis is the drooping of the upper eyelid. It is usually caused by a dysfunction of the levator muscle, either for congenital or degenerative reasons.

What causes palpebral ptosis?

The main cause of ptosis is aging. There are different types of ptosis:

  • Aponeurotic ptosis: this is the most common. It is caused by the aging of the palpebral tissues and the loosening of the levator muscle, causing the eyelid to droop.
  • Neurogenic ptosis: it is an anomaly characterized by the lack of nervous stimulus in the muscle. It is more common in children and is called Marcus Gunn syndrome.
  • Mechanical ptosis: occurs when there is a cyst or tumor in the upper eyelid causing a mechanical drooping.
  • Myogenic ptosis: the levator muscle of the upper eyelid cannot perform its usual function satisfactorily and fails to hold the eyelid in its normal position.

Can eyelid ptosis be prevented?

This pathology cannot be prevented, but it is possible to detect it in its early stages and act before the visual field is affected, so that the unsightly effect it causes is not very pronounced.

When ptosis is corrected, the appearance of cervical pain and torticollis is prevented, as well as several discomforts that are often associated with this dysfunction.

What are the symptoms of palpebral ptosis?

There are some symptoms that are associated with ptosis. They are the following:

  • Drooping of the upper eyelid. Total or partial covering of the eye.
  • Reduction of the visual field.
  • Need to tilt the head back in order to see.
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A pioneering technique for ptosis: frontal flap surgery.

Frontal flap surgery to correct drooping of the eyelid is a technique that has raised great expectation among those attending the meeting recently held by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

At this meeting, Dr. Ramón Medel, an ophthalmologist at IMO, presented this complex surgery, which he has been performing since 2002 and which makes it possible to treat cases in a minimally invasive manner without visible incisions and without the need to use grafts or external materials to return the eyelid to its original position.

During this period, Dr. Medel has performed more than 400 interventions of eyelid ptosis, being the frontal flap the priority technique of choice in many children born with ptosis. If this malposition occurs and is not treated before the age of one year, it can impede the correct development of vision, leading to chronic sequelae such as lazy eye. In the event that ptosis does not affect vision, it is important to correct the problem before the age of five, in order to avoid problems such as bulliyng, which can have repercussions on the psychological development of affected children.

For more information, consult an ophthalmology specialist or the Institute of Ocular Microsurgery (IMO).