What are the Causes Of Ptosis?

Dr. Trupti Shirole
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Apr 18, 2016
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What are the Causes Of Ptosis?

Causes of Congenital Ptosis

There is no obvious cause for almost 50% cases of congenital ptosis. Usually it is due to an abnormality in the development of the eye muscles that elevate the upper lid.

Other causes of congenital ptosis might include-

  • Blepharophimosis syndrome
  • Conditions affecting the nerves around the face and eyelids, like third nerve palsy
  • Birth trauma
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pseudoptosis

Causes of Acquired Ptosis

  • Malfunction of the nerves, which control and activate the eyelid muscles or a problem with the nerve that sends messages to the muscle. This is known as ‘neurogenic ptosis’.
  • Old age (most common cause) - The muscles that elevate the eyelid stretch and become thinned out resulting in loss of muscle tone and the inability to hold the upper lid in the proper position above the eye. This is known as ‘involutional ptosis’.
  • Muscle weakness caused by conditions that affect the muscles in the body, like myasthenia gravis or myotonic dystrophy. This is called as ‘myopathic ptosis’.
  • Tumor or other lumps cause the eyelids to droop. This is ‘mechanical ptosis’.
  • Injury or trauma to the eye as in an accident.
  • Use of high doses of opioid drugs such as morphine, oxycodone or hydrocodone. It is a side effect seen in the abuse of drugs such as diacetylmorphine (heroin).

Risk Factors For Ptosis

  • Diabetes
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Aneurysms

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I had ptopsis surgery in my right eye a month ago. Sometimes when I go out in the sun and while reading my eyelid still droops and obstructs my vision. The eye tends to get wet and blurs my vision. At night it gets goopy. My problem is that both my eyes have different vision. The right eye is weaker so I have to close my right eye to get better vision. I want to know whether it is a problem because of ptopsis surgery or because of my different eye vision. I am constantly putting antibiotic drops and refresh tears. I thought it might be allergies I also put all away and ate Claritin.


I was born with ptosis of the eyelids in 1964. Both my daughter and son has ptosis pf the eyelids. My grandchild was NOT born with ptosis. Can someone tell me if ptosis is still just as prevelant for my grandchildren that have yet to be born? I had several surgeries. My last surgery was in 1980. When my children were born [1988 and the other in 1994] I did not feel that the surgical techniques for ptosis were very different from the ones performed in my childhood. Are there any breakthroughs for the correction of ptosis?


hello I have 3 little children with slight ptosis in the left eye and the youngest child seem to have gone away. most people to do no see the ptosis in my children and the only on that has so far is a neurologist.he lookedt my son and pics of the other children and said he has no idea what causes ptosis in 3 childrens eyes. it is very frustrating because i have been dealing with headaches and backaches and muscle aches as well with my 4 yr old and no doc will help me. what i need is some answers is this going to go away? r the headaches going to end? and the backaches too? also many of the people i read about where born with the ptosis, not my children. is there any virus or bacteria that can cause these kinda things? they have have had every kinda sickness you can think of these past 8 months including mono, mrsa, and several colds and lots of diarrea. please someone give me some answers if they know anything?

I am 26 years old and I have ptosis on the left eye since birth, it was completely shut close, couldn't open it. I have had many surgerys since 6 months old to correct it and this has managed to open my lid half way, but still very noticable. My question is....if I have children, would I pass this to my children?

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