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Is Ptosis a Serious Condition?

Is Ptosis a Serious Condition?

Ptosis is the medical term for a drooping eyelid, and while it’s relatively rare among children, it can wind up causing significant vision problems when it does happen. Ptosis can affect one or both eyes, with treatment depending on the severity of lid drooping and other factors.

As a leading pediatric ophthalmology practice in Phoenix, Mesa, and Avondale, Arizona, ABC Children's Eye Specialists offers advanced treatment options for ptosis. Here, learn how ptosis could affect your child’s vision and why prompt treatment is important.

Quick facts about ptosis

In kids, ptosis can be divided into two types: Congenital ptosis is present at birth or shortly thereafter, while acquired ptosis develops during childhood.

Congenital ptosis is typically associated with weakness in the levator muscle, a triangular-shaped muscle that helps lift and retract the upper eyelid. Birth injuries or problems affecting facial nerves can also lead to congenital ptosis.

Acquired ptosis occurs as a secondary “symptom” of another underlying problem. For instance, traumatic injuries to the face or eyelid, muscle or nerve disorders, and tumors can all cause lid drooping to appear in children.

The importance of prompt treatment

When a lid droops severely and covers the pupil, it’s easy to understand why treatment is necessary. But even mild ptosis can cause issues that interfere with your child’s vision and overall wellness.

Ptosis that affects one eye can lead to “lazy eye” (amblyopia), a condition that happens when the brain “prefers” one eye over the other. Astigmatism, crossed eyes (strabismus), and corneal damage are other possible complications.

Children with ptosis may tilt their head or constantly raise their eyebrows to try to see more clearly. These habits can lead to neck pain and chronic headaches over time. The appearance of the droopy lid can also lead to problems with your child’s self-confidence or teasing from peers.

How we treat ptosis

Even mild forms of ptosis need to be evaluated and treated to prevent vision problems that could lead to delays in learning, socialization, and other key skill areas. Our team offers several treatments tailored to your child’s unique and individual needs. 

Prior to recommending treatment, we perform a detailed examination of your child's eyes and vision, along with a review of their medical history. The treatment plan we recommend is based on multiple factors, including:

In many cases, our team recommends surgery to repair the levator muscle or improve lid function in other ways. 

If your child has developed a vision problem as a result of their droopy lid, we can address that as well. Depending on what type of vision issue your child has, we may recommend corrective lenses, eye patches, drops, or other treatments to improve their vision and eye health.

Partners in your child’s healthy vision

Ptosis is a serious eye condition that requires prompt treatment to prevent vision problems and their complications. To learn more about ptosis treatment, call our offices to book an appointment with the team at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists today.

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