What is ptosis?

Ptosis (say "TOH-sus") means the upper eyelid droops over the eye. Some people are born with ptosis. Others may get it later in life. It may be caused by problems with the muscles or nerves that move the eyelid.


How is ptosis diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and do an exam. They'll take measurements of the eyelid and test the strength of the muscles. If the doctor thinks there is a problem with the muscles or nerves, you may have more tests. These may include imaging tests, such as an MRI.


How is ptosis treated?

Treatment for ptosis depends on the cause. Your doctor will try to find the cause and see if treatment may help. Some causes of ptosis may go away on their own over time. If ptosis interferes with your vision, your doctor may talk to you about having surgery.

Seeking care

Ptosis: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse eye pain.
  • You have vision changes.
  • You have double vision.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Copyrighted material adapted with permission from Healthwise, Incorporated. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.