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Located on W. Drake Rd. in Ft. Collins West of Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital

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Ptosis

Ptosis (pronounced “toe-sis”) refers to the drooping of an eyelid. It affects only the upper eyelid of one or both eyes. The droop may be barely noticeable, or the lid can descend over the entire pupil. Ptosis can occur in both children and adults, but happens most often due to aging.

Ptosis signs and symptoms

The degree of droopiness varies from one person to the next. If you think you may have ptosis, compare a recent photo of your face to one from 10 or 20 years ago to see if there is a noticeable change in the position of your upper eyelids.

Ptosis can look similar to dermatochalasis, a group of connective tissue diseases that cause skin to hang in folds. These diseases are associated with less-than-normal elastic tissue formation. Your eye doctor should be able to tell whether or not this is the cause of your drooping eyelids.

What causes ptosis?

Ptosis can be present at birth (congenital ptosis), or develop due to aging, injury or an aftereffect of cataract or other eye surgery. This condition can also be caused by a problem with the muscles that raise the eyelid, called levator muscles. Sometimes an individual’s facial anatomy causes difficulties with the levator muscles. An eye tumor, neurological disorder or systemic disease like diabetes may also cause drooping eyelids.

How is ptosis treated?

Surgery is usually the best treatment for drooping eyelids. The surgeon tightens the levator muscles to restore the eyelids to their normal position. In very severe cases involving weakened levator muscles, the surgeon attaches the eyelid under the eyebrow to allow the forehead muscles to substitute for the levator muscles in lifting the eyelid. Eyelid surgery is also known as blepharoplasty.

After surgery, the eyelids may not appear symmetrical, even though the lids are higher than before surgery. Very rarely, eyelid movement may be lost.

It is important to choose your blepharoplasty surgeon carefully, since a poorly-done surgery could result in a less than desirable appearance or in dry eyes caused by your lids not being able to close properly after surgery. Before agreeing to ptosis surgery, ask how many procedures your surgeon has done. Also ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients, and ask if you can talk to any of them about their experience.

Ptosis in children

Children born with moderate or severe ptosis require treatment in order for proper vision to develop. Failure to treat ptosis can result in amblyopia (diminished vision in one eye) and a lifetime of poor vision. All children with ptosis, even mild cases, should visit their eyecare practitioner every year so the doctor can monitor lid positioning and potential vision problems caused by congenital ptosis.

 

As of Tuesday evening, March 17th, the CDC has recommended that all routine eye care be deferred until further notice, in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 through our community. We will follow their recommendations and close our office to regular eye exams until further notice.

Please be assured that we are still available to triage all urgent and emergent issues as well as help you with routine matters during this challenging time.

What does this mean?

1) If you are scheduled for an annual eye examination our office will contact you to reschedule
2) If you need to replace glasses or contact lenses and need an extension on your prescription, please contact us and we will assist you in obtaining some until you can come in for a visit.
3) If you are running out of medication please contact us and we can transmit a refill electronically to your pharmacy.
4) If you have an ocular emergency we are, as always, available to help you at any time. Call us at 970-221-4811.
5) If you have an issue that cannot wait for an office visit, contact us and we will schedule a FaceTime, Skype or telephone appointment with one of our doctors. Medicare has temporarily relaxed its telehealth rules to allow this type of communication during the pandemic crisis. Other insurers may follow suit and allow for reimbursement of virtual care costs. The consultation must be initiated at your request.
6) During this period of social distancing and quarantine, we must all do our part by restricting activities outside the home except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
7) Please remember that 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild and resolve within a week. However, if you feel your symptoms are worsening, call ahead before visiting your doctor’s office or emergency department and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

The CDC has many wonderful resources. Arming yourself and your family with clear information will help you avoid undue stress.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

We have asked our staff to stay home until further notice to protect them, our patients, our city, our nation, and our planet. Despite the financial and emotional hardships this will cause, we ask every one of you to do the same.

Together we will weather this storm.

With sincerest wishes for your continued good health, we remain at your service,

Eyecare Associates