The Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery Center at Mount Sinai manages a variety of congenital anomalies affecting the eyes and eyelids. Our team is committed to providing an excellent patient experience for both children and adults.
Eyelid ptosis refers to the drooping of the upper eyelid. In most cases, it is caused by either a weakness or separation of the muscle that raises the eyelid or a problem with the nerve that sends messages to this muscle. In some cases, it may be associated with a crossed or misaligned eye (known as "strabismus"). If left untreated, ptosis may prevent vision from developing properly, resulting in a lazy eye (known as "amblyopia").
Diagnosing Eyelid Ptosis
Evaluation of the child with drooping of one or both eyelids involves measuring the height of the eyelid and functioning of the muscles. The eyelids are observed as they move during opening and closing. Children may require additional vision testing for amblyopia.
Treating Eyelid Ptosis
Children born with an eyelid that covers the open part of the eye (pupil) may require surgical correction to improve early vision. Drooping of the eyelid at birth does not usually improve with time, and it nearly always requires corrective surgery by a plastic surgeon. In most cases, surgery is performed to strengthen or tighten the muscle that elevates the upper eyelid. If this levator muscle is especially weak, the lid and eyebrow around the eyelid may be lifted.
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