by EBSCO Medical Review Board


Ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid over the eye.


Ptosis may be caused by:

  • The aging process
  • Genetics
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nerve damage
  • Injury

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in older adults. It may also be present at birth.


Problems may be:

  • Blocked vision
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Tired and achy eyes


You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. An eye exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.


Ptosis that does not affect vision does not need to be treated. Some people may have treatment if they do not like the appearance of droopy eyelids.

In others, the goal of treatment is to improve vision. Options are:

  • Medicine to target the muscle to raise the drooping eyelid
  • Blepharoplasty—surgery to remove excess skin and fat tissue from the drooping eyelids


There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.


American Academy of Ophthalmology 

American Optometric Association 


Canadian Ophthalmological Society 

Health Canada 


Ptosis. American Optometric Association website. Available at: Accessed May 18, 2021.

Ptosis—approach to the patient. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 18, 2021.

What is ptosis? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: Accessed May 18, 2021.

Revision Information