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7 Common Causes of Droopy Eyelids from Which You Can Decide How to Fix Them

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Droopy eyelids are a problem occurring naturally in some people. It gives the person a typical sleepy eye look. Sometimes it can even go beyond just the cosmetic issue and interfere with the persons vision. However, droopy eyes that are present from birth do not hamper vision. For the drooping of upper eyelids, the medical term is ptosis. It should not be mistaken as angioedema which is the swelling of skin due to an allergic reaction.


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In case of droopy eyelids, the upper eyelids corner may be pretty lower than normal or there may be quite extra baggy skin. However, mostly there are both these conditions present. Your skin tends to lose its elasticity and starts drooping all over; however, its most obvious around your eyes.

Common Causes of Droopy Eyelids

1. Aging

Aging is one of the most common causes of droopy eyelids and it affects both eyes. It makes the levator muscle of the eye stretched and causes wrinkling of the skin around the eyes. This may be paired with fat deposits underneath the skin causing saggy eyelids. All this creates a look of age, tiredness and even sadness. In such a case, the person may choose a cosmetic surgery to improve the look for which you can consult with Dr. Naveen Somia.

2. Congenital Droopy Eyes

Here, droopy eyelids are present in a newborn baby since birth and it may be due to improper development of the levator muscle which helps lift the upper eye. It may be associated to strabismus, crossed or misaligned eye or even squint. If left untreated, it may cause amblyopia, i.e. poor vision development and also may result in astigmatism i.e. vision distortion. In situations where the eyelid covers pupil, surgery is recommended.

3. Nerve Disorders

Injuries to brain and cranial nerve can lead to ptosis since it impacts the nerve supply to the muscles of eyelids. This also may be caused due to stroke, brain tumour, long-term diabetes and aneurysm.

4. Muscle Disorders

An inherited disease called Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy affects eye movement and can cause problems with swollen eyes. One of the symptoms of this disorder is droopy eyes.

Another muscle disorder called progressive external ophthalmoplegia taking place mostly in young adults may also cause bilateral ptosis.


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5. Eye Injury

Injury is the other major cause for droopy eyelid. Trauma to eyes caused by an accident or assault may lead to ptosis. If oculomotor nerve that supplies to the levator muscle is injured it can lead to drooping of eyelids.

6. Dermatochalasis

This is a type of connective tissue disorder, in which the skin of upper and lower eyelids loses its elasticity so that it keeps hanging down in folds and creates an impression of a droopy eye. This disorder is often associated with old age and there may also be genetic predisposition. There may be an involvement of some other conditions like injury to eye and its adjacent tissue, thyroid disease and skin disorders or even chronic renal disease.

7. Local Eye Issues

Sometimes a local eye issue may make eyelids to droop, like:

  • Hereditary factors
  • Poor nutrition
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Tumour of eyelid or in the eye socket
  • Smoking
  • Long-term diabetes that can affect nerves supplying to eyelids and thus cause ptosis
  • Over-exposure to the sun
  • Infection or inflammation of eyelids and surrounding tissues
  • Fatigue, lack of sleep and eye strain can result in baggy eyes and eyelids and can make eyelids droopy

Knowing the cause of your droopy eye is important because by knowing this you can decide how to fix droopy eyelid even by yourself and better understand what your doctor wants to say.

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