The most common cause of drooping eyelids that I see in my office in Denver is from aging. Either the eyelid muscle causes the eyelid to become droopy or excess skin drops over the edge of the eyelid. As an eyelid surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon in Denver, my practice involves a lot of eyelid surgery. I also trained as a neuro-ophthalmologist and in that speciality we evaluate and treat medical causes of drooping eyelids. Any time surgery is being performed, it is critical to rule out these diseases listed below which can cause a drooping eyelid. Uniquely trained in both specialties, I make sure that not only that these diseases are ruled out before performing an eyelid lift or ptosis repair. Also, it is critical to rule out that the patient is a candidate for the surgery (and no contrary to what some people say, just wanting the surgery does not make you a candidate). There are disease entities that prevent a patient from getting an eyelift. Also these diseases below prevent a patient from getting surgery until the underlying deadly disease is treated first.
Sleep apnea/Floppy Eyelid Syndrome
Sleep Apnea is associated with floppy eyelid syndrome where the eyelid tissue becomes loose and can hang low. Sleep apnea is a deadly condition that can cause right sided heart failure over time. It is a disease entity that must be ruled out. Some signs of sleep apnea in a drooping eyelid patient include:
Lash ptosis (eyelashes pointing down)
Distractibility of eyelid (Eyelid stretching)
Though scary drooping of the eyelids can be caused by a brain tumor. This is caused by a tumor pressing on the nerves that control the eyelid muscles. These are seen in:
Third Nerve Palsy
Again, scary but something that should be ruled out. An aneurysm is a ballooning of a blood vessel that presses on the nerves like a brain tumor. An eyelid lift is definitely not the first thing that is done to treat these patients for good reason.
This is an autoimmune disease that affects the eyelid muscles and causes them to droop. It can spread to the body and cause death in some cases. The treatment is an oral pill and not surgery. Myasthenia should be ruled out on patients who have fluctuation in drooping of the eyelid.
I hope this is a good overview that an eyelid lift is a serious procedure that requires an expert. It is not a procedure that is done by “anyone”. Hopefully this gives a glimpse of what the serious causes of drooping eyelids are and should be screened by any doctor who is treating a patient in Denver or anywhere in Colorado for drooping eyelids or ptosis.