Childhood ptosis

What is childhood ptosis?

Ptosis (toe-sis) is a drooping of the upper eyelid with varying degree of severity.

Ptosis can affect one or both eyelids. Children can be born with ptosis (congenital ptosis) or it can develop later in life (acquired).

If left untreated, ptosis can cause:

“Lazy eye” (amblyopia)

Eyesight problems such as astigmatism

Abnormal head posture (e.g. chin-up head position)

What Causes Ptosis?

Some known causes of eyelid problems include:

Weak/Underdeveloped eyelid (levator) muscle

Trauma to the eyelid

Chronic Allergic Conjunctivitis with eye rubbing

Eyelid tumours or growths (e.g., chalazion, neurofibromatosis)

Brain and nervous system problems

How is Ptosis Diagnosed?

If your child appears to have a droopy eyelid, you can contact an ophthalmologist or have your child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider make a referral. Your ophthalmologist will further evaluate to establish the diagnosis and determine the appropriate management for your child.

Treatment for Ptosis

Treatment for ptosis depends on its cause, severity and other associated problem.

Ophthalmologist will determine the most beneficial treatment for your child.

This may warrant the use of glasses if he or she has astigmatism that may cause lazy eye (amblyopia). If your child has lazy eye (amblyopia), ongoing treatment can improve his/her vision.

Eyelid surgery to improve eyelid height may be necessary if an eyelid blocks vision or causes your child to abnormal head posture (e.g. chin-up head position).

Surgery works well to improve the look and function of the eye but some children may need more than one surgery to achieve good result.

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