ZocdocAnswersWhat causes eyelids to constantly droop?

Question

What causes eyelids to constantly droop?

My 7 year old son has 'heavy eyelids'. Initially we thought it was just the shape of his eyes, but the more prominent it becomes, the more I'm beginning to believe it's a problem. Is 'drooping eyelids' or 'heavy eyelids' a sign of a medical issue?

Answer

"Heavy eyelids," or ptosis, is a drooping of the upper eyelids and can be a sign or symptom of more serious disease. There can be many causes of ptosis, but they generally stem from weakness of the musculature of the upper eye. In adults, it is common that the connection between the muscle and the supporting structure of the eyelid become separated. In children, drooping upper eye lids are most commonly due to a congenital (from birth) lack of upper eyelid musculature. Sometimes this absence is present in other members of the family, although it may be subtle. Such cases usually occur in just one eye, and usually do not get worse with time. Other causes of ptosis from such a young age include muscle disorders or neurologic conditions in which muscles do not respond to normal stimuli to contract. They will sometimes be associated with other changes in vision or the appearance of the eyes. Alternatively, subtle alterations or normal variations of anatomy can lead to the appearance of ptosis without any true disease of medical condition. It is important that your son be seen by a physician to discuss these concerns. Any other medical conditions or symptoms that you have noticed in your child should be addressed at that time as well, since ptosis may present with other findings.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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