A fancy way to say “droopy eyelid.” Ptosis means that the edge of the upper eyelid is actually dropping down, sometimes bad enough to cover the pupil and obstruct vision. Many people with ptosis find themselves tilting their head back or constantly raising their eyebrows in order to lift their eyelids up and see properly.  Ptosis can be caused by many things, including congenital ptosis, traumatic injury and neuromuscular disorders like myasthenia gravis. Eyelid drooping can also occur from age stretching of the muscle that holds the eyelid open.  Treatment involves surgical tightening of the eyelid retractor muscle. When people describe their eye as drooping, they aren’t always talking about ptosis … most people actually have dermatochalasis. This is when the skin above the eye becomes lax and droops down over the eyelashes.  This is completely different and easier to treat with a blepharoplasty (a surgery to remove this excess skin).

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


  1. Hi Tim, great explanation for ptosis. Do you have any how-to’s, suggestions, photos or videos on how to tape upper lids for a ptosis visual field?


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