Ptosis is the medical term for noticeable droopiness of the upper lid. It has many possible causes:

1. Age
This is the most common cause of ptosis. The levator muscle that elevates the upper eyelid may stretch and become thinned as we age, and can eventually detach. The disorder usually affects both upper lids, but often one eye appears worse than the other. Eye surgery, such as cataract removal, or a minor eye injury, may sometimes accelerate this condition.

2. Congenital
Noticed at birth or shortly thereafter, congenital ptosis is produced by a developmental abnormality in the muscles that elevate the upper lid.

3. Injury
Automobile accidents or other trauma may damage the levator muscle or the nerves controlling the muscle.

4. Neurological Diseases
Myasthenia gravis, strokes, cranial nerve palsies and other neurologic conditions may cause the disorder as well.

Symptoms of ptosis are functional as well as cosmetic. Difficulty reading and driving are common complaints. In some children with severe ptosis, amblyopia (lazy eye) may occur, so prompt diagnosis and careful follow-up are important.

Treatment usually requires surgical repair or tightening of the levator muscle.