​​Drooping Eyelids

Drooping eye lids or ‘ptosis’ is a condition whereby the upper eye lid is lower than where it should be, or when there is excessive sagging of the skin of the eye lids. It may be caused by aging, when skin and muscles of the eye lids weaken, or any injury to the eye. In some cases, babies may be born with drooping eye lids – congenital ptosis – which may occur in one or both eyes. Sometimes, neurological disorders that affect the muscles and nerves of the eyes can also cause drooping eye lids. 

People who suffer from drooping eye lids cannot open their eyes completely. This affects vision as well as part of the eye is blocked, hence making ptosis a condition that must not be ignored and one that needs immediate medical attention.​​

As the name of this disease implies, the most obvious symptom of ptosis is drooping of the eye lids. This disorder may affect one or both eyes. Other signs and symptoms include:​

  • Affected vision due to blockage of eyes, especially if the disorder is at an advanced stage.

  • Dry or watery eyes.

  • A tired and weary look on the face.

  • Pain around the eyes.

  • In severe cases of drooping eye lids, you may have to tilt your head back, even during a normal conversation.

Depending on how severe the disorder is, the symptoms may be barely noticeable or quite prominent.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you must see your eye doctor immediately as drooping eye lids may be affecting your vision. Serious symptoms which necessitate immediate medical consultation include painful swelling beyond the eye lids, sudden drooping of the eye lids, your eyes do not open properly or your vision has started to get affected. Seek help from your doctor The Aga Khan University Hospital if you encounter these symptoms.

You can be assured of receiving the best quality medical care The Aga Khan University Hospital. Our expert and highly trained staff at the Eye and ENT Service Line can provide you with additional information and medical advice. We have an internationally accredited staff with which you can safely and privately discuss your symptoms, gain advice and receive personalized treatment and care.​

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

Your medical history will be taken and physical examination will be conducted when you come to get your symptoms evaluated The Aga Khan University Hospital. You must share details of how long you have been experiencing the symptoms and report any particular signs, such as excessive dryness or inability to open your eyes properly. 

Physical examination of the eyes will include:​

  • ​A vision acuity test to check your vision with the help of an eye chart.

  • A slit lamp exam with high intensity light and magnifying instruments to help look at the eyes closely.

A ‘Tensilon’ test may also be conducted to diagnose if weakness of the muscles is causing drooping eye lids. A drug called tensilon, which improves muscle strength, is injected into the veins. After this, the doctor will ask you to make eye movements to monitor your eye muscle strength.​

Your treatment plan will depend on:

  • The cause of your disorder.

  • How severe it is.

Generally, if the disease occurs due to old age and is not affecting your vision, no treatment per se is recommended as the condition is not deemed harmful to your health in anyway. 

However, if your vision is affected, the following treatment options may be prescribed:

  • Use of special glasses to raise your eye lids as a temporary solution or if surgery is not an ideal option for you.

  • Ptosis surgery, in which the surgeon tightens the muscle of the upper eye lid, helping lift up the eye lid. This surgery must not be delayed in children as it can cause complications, such as an eye condition called amblyopia or lazy eye, in which a child’s vision does not develop properly.

  • Treatment of underlying condition, such as neurological disorder, which may be causing drooping eye lids. You eye doctor will refer you to a neurologist working with the Mind and brain service Line of The Aga Khan University Hospital in case of a neurological disorder affecting your eye lid muscles.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​




The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.