Bilateral Ptosis Of the Eye
Bilateral ptosis of the eye is not uncommon and has many causes. In general, when there is droopy eyelid on only one side of the face, then one must suspect a nerve injury, stroke or a cancer. However, when there are droopy eyelids on both sides, then one must suspect a generalized medical disorder or aging. Droopy eyelids can make one look ill, sleepy, bored, tired, sad or one may appear not interested. In many cases, when the eyelids are droopy, the eyelashes can constantly irritate the eye and induce tearing, redness and discomfort.
In some people, bilateral eye ptosis occur because of excess skin or fat. The excess fat causes the eyelids to sag and makes the facial appearance unappealing. For some unlucky individuals, droopy eyelids may appear at age 40.
The most common medical disorder associated with bilateral eye ptosis or sagging eyelids is myasthenia gravis, in this medical disorder, the nerves lack a neurotransmitter that causes stimulation of the muscles. The disorder is not very common and usually presents in the 30s or earlier. What should be understood is that in myasthenia gravis one should not seek surgical treatment for the droopy eyelids because there are medications that can help regain normal eyelid function.
In individuals with severe hypothyroidism, bilateral droopy eyelids can also occur. Again, one shouldn’t seek cosmetic surgery to correct the eyelid problem as once the hypothyroidism is reversed, the eyelids will resume their normal anatomical position.
Over the years, many solutions for a drooping eyelid have come and gone. For those who are too poor to afford medical treatment, one can use thin transparent tape to hold the eyelids open. However, continuous tapping of the eyelids can be uncomfortable and does cause dryness of the eyes.
Most people seek help from a plastic surgeon for cosmesis. However, before going to a plastic surgeon, it is essential to know that that condition is not due to myasthenia gravis or hypothyroidism. Cosmetic surgeons have made great improvements in their surgical techniques and can correct a drooping eyelid with excellent results. The surgery essentially involves making an incision and removing the excess skin or fat. The surgery is done as an outpatient and most people have a speedy recovery. However, like all surgeries, blepharoplasty does have complications. If the surgeon is not experienced, the eyelid may be left too short and there may even be nerve damage- both of which are permanent. So prior to seeing any surgeon, one should first know reputation of the surgeon and ask for his or her experience. Moreover, blepharoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by most medical insurance plans or Medicare. For those who are adamant about plastic surgery for bilateral ptosis of the eye, ask questions and when in doubt get a second opinion.