How To Treat Ptosis
Many people have issues with their eyes from time to time. If you value your sight highly as we all do, you need to take care of your eyes at every stage of life. There are some medical conditions that may occur that affect the eyes, some of which may cause the eye condition known as Ptosis.
What is the Eye Condition of Ptosis?
Ptosis is otherwise known as a pathological “droopy” eyelid. Unilateral ptosis occurs when only one eye is affected, and bilateral ptosis occurs when both eyes are affected. This condition causes the eyelid or eyelids to “droop”, making vision difficult and potentially causing other problems.
There are several causes of ptosis, and if the condition is severe, it will require medical treatment. There are a number of home remedies to treat ptosis if it is not too severe, and in some cases, it will come and go on its own.
Some of the underlying causes of ptosis include the following:
- Eye tumors
- Trauma or injury
- The side effect of a cataract surgery
- Brain aneurysm
- Cancer of the nerves
- Levator muscle problems
- Horner’s syndrome
- Muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy
- Bell’s palsy
- The side effect of Botox
- Myasthenia Gravis
- The side effect of surgery for corrected vision
The medical treatment of ptosis involves seeing a doctor and either treating the symptoms of ptosis directly or the underlying cause of the condition, such as ptosis caused by diabetes. There are several types of ptosis, including:
- Traumatic Ptosis: This form of ptosis is caused by an injury to the eye, common in sports or outdoor recreational activities.
- Mechanical Ptosis: When a weight of skin or a mass weighs down the eyelid, this form of ptosis can be a result of the weight.
- Congenital Ptosis: When children develop in the womb, if their levitator muscles do not develop properly, they can be born with this form of ptosis.
- Myogenic Ptosis: This form of ptosis can be caused by medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, and other forms of muscle disease that cause the muscles to weaken.
- Neurogenic Ptosis: When the nerve pathways are not in good health, the eyelids can develop ptosis as a result of nerve issues.
- Aponeurotic Ptosis: When the body ages, many people will develop this form of ptosis. This is the most common form of ptosis.
How to Determine if You Have Ptosis
A self-examination will usually be able to determine if you have Ptosis, but if there are any questions or you want to make certain, you can see a doctor or clinic to get a thorough diagnosis. You should see a medical professional if you have a serious illness or if this is the first time you’ve noticed ptosis.
Performing a self-examination involves looking for the following list of symptoms while looking in a mirror:
- A drooping eyelid or eyelids that become noticeable and distinct when looking in a mirror
- Dry eyes that are frequent and persistent
- Watery eyes
- A tired, exhausted appearance to your general expression
- A dull, aching sensation around and within your eye area
- You find yourself lifting your eyelid or eyelids to see properly
- You find yourself tilting back your head to see from under your eyelid or eyelids
When you perform your self-examination, you may discover that you need treatment for this condition. In many cases, ptosis will come and go on its own, but since it can limit vision, it can make driving or operating machinery difficult, so it is advised you seek medical help if possible.
There are a number of ways to treat ptosis, some of which can be done at home without medical treatment. Medical treatment is not always necessary, but in many cases, you should seek diagnosis and help from a medical professional to treat the medical conditions causing ptosis, as they may be serious.
Steps You Can Take to Treat Ptosis
If you seek treatment from a medical professional, you may be required to undergo extensive testing. Some of the tests that you be required to take include MRI’s, CAT scans, blood tests, an eye examination, evaluation of your medical history, and a physical examination.
You may have to take a muscle strength test that is performed using a drug known as Tensilon to determine how weak your eyelid or eyelids are.
If you get treatment from a medical professional, you may have to undergo surgery to correct your ptosis. There are risks for this surgery, and you could have complications that result in an asymmetrical appearance to your eyelids (although this is unlikely).
If you do not have a serious medical condition that requires treatment that caused your ptosis, you may want to try some alternative remedies to alleviate the symptoms. The following remedies are thought to treat ptosis effectively and provide substantial relief:
- Vitamin B12. The neuromuscular function is vital to the body, and one of the most important things you can do for your body is to get enough vitamin B12. If you are a vegetarian, you probably don’t get enough of this important vitamin in your diet.
Even if you eat a regular diet of meat and vegetables, you can lack the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs. One of the best ways to counteract this problem is to take vitamin B12 supplements in addition to a multivitamin supplement to offset the disparity you may have.
- Acupuncture. You may decide you have liked what you have heard about acupuncture enough to try this method to treat your ptosis condition. Seek out an acupuncturist with experience in neuromuscular conditions, as only a specialist will know how to adequately treat your ptosis.
You may need multiple treatments for several months. Treatments consist of small needles being placed into your muscles to facilitate healing.
- Eyelid Exercises. In cases where your ptosis is caused by muscle issues or aging, performing a set of exercises to strengthen your eyelid muscles can effectively treat your ptosis and get you back on the road to good eye health.
There are two main exercises to perform, the first is you raise your eyelids repetitively, 10-15 times in a row, every day. In the second, you stand in front of a mirror and do the following: A) Raise your eyebrows with your index fingers and B) Blink 5-7 times. Follow this by squeezing your eyes tight for 10 seconds. Do this exercise 10 times every day.
- Tea Bag Treatments. You can alleviate some of the distress caused by ptosis by using tea bags to cover your eyelids for a brief period of time. This works very well for many people. You start by taking two chamomile tea bags and soaking them in hot water (you can drink the tea if you like as well, which helps you relax).
You then place the tea bags (drained but still moist, and warm but not hot) on your eyes for 10-15 minutes and relax (you should be lying down with a towel behind your head).
These treatments can provide relief for ptosis, but it may not make it go away. The best course of treatment is always to consult a doctor and follow their advice and treatment plan. If left untreated, ptosis can only worsen and possibly impede your vision.
Is Ptosis a Preventable Disease?
There is no real way to prevent ptosis in most cases, as it is a result of an underlying condition that cannot be prevented. If you are worried you may develop ptosis from Botox treatments, you may decide to forego these treatments and pursue other options.
You may also find very experienced specialists who perform vision correction surgery so as to avoid the complication of ptosis from developing.
What to Do if You Have Ptosis
If you have performed the self-evaluation and/or are concerned you have developed ptosis, you should find out the cause if it does not come and go on its own. Some of the remedies suggested here may provide temporary or ongoing relief from ptosis and its symptoms, but you may require more urgent care.
It is suggested that for those people who have developed ptosis that is sudden and persistent, they seek attention and evaluation from medical personnel as soon as can be arranged. Since ptosis is a serious condition and can lead to severe consequences, you should never leave ptosis untreated.
If you think you have ptosis, please feel welcome to try the remedies provided before you seek medical help if you feel the condition may be going away on its own. In the more serious cases, find a health care provider near you who specializes in ptosis or has a lot of experience treating this disease.