Causes of droopy eye lids & Saggy Eyes
Though there are several reasons for developing ptosis, saggy or droopy eyes commonly occur as we age due to the skin and muscles around the eyes stretching and weakening throughout our lives and frequent facial expressions. Aside from nerve damage and our bodies experiencing a natural aging cycle, some serious conditions need to be treated in an emergency and should be taken seriously, especially since symptoms can worsen your eyes and overall health if not paid attention to.
- Previous Surgical History
If you are someone who has had surgery on or around the eyes prior, such as laser eye treatment, this can sometimes speed up the occurrence of droopy eyes. This is due to instruments used during eye surgeries to keep the eyes open, further stretching the eyelids.
As mentioned earlier, prior injuries or diseases, especially in the area around the eyes, can trigger droopy eyes in certain patients. Some are milder than others, but should always be treated by a professional if the symptoms begin to get in the way of everyday life.
Tumors that form in the brain or around/behind the eyes can cause saggy eyes. These tumors can sometimes lead to nerve or muscle cancers if not treated or diagnosed early.
These tumors can also lead to a condition called Horner Syndrome, emphasizing the appearance of droopy or saggy eyes in one or both eyelids. The appearance of a smaller pupil in the center of the affected eye(s) is also common, as well as feeling reduced or lack of sweat on the same side of the face. An ophthalmologist’s professional opinion should be consulted during an appointment in these rare cases to get ahead of any potential tumor development.
For those who live with diabetes daily, routine eye check-ups are even more beneficial for your health. Diabetes can cause several issues with your eyes if you experience persistent high levels of blood sugar. This can damage the blood vessels and nerves in or around the eyes, leading to symptoms of droopy eyelids as well as blurry/double vision and prevention of proper blood flow.
By properly managing your diabetes and staying on top of your blood sugar levels, it can potentially prevent several concerns in the future.
Severe neurological disorders or occurrences, such as a stroke, can produce droopy eyelids. Depending on the location of the stroke, one or both eyelids may be affected. Typically, if a stroke is the primary cause of saggy eyes, other symptoms will accompany, such as blurry vision and one-sided weakness.
A few symptoms to pay attention to before a stroke occurs include headache, numbness, and tingling sensations. Mini-stroke symptoms can sometimes occur a few days to a week before a stroke takes place.
Primarily affecting the voluntary muscles of the body, myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which antibodies destroy necessary communication between the nerves and muscles, weakening the skeletal muscles. These voluntary muscles that are affected are vital for controlling the mouth, throat, limbs, and you guessed it - eyes.
Those most at risk of developing myasthenia gravis are women in their 20s and 30s and men in their later years between ages 60 and 70. Even once diagnosed with MG, a normal life is more than feasible. The initial years following diagnosis can be difficult for some to adjust as this is when a variety of symptoms may occur, such as arm/leg muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, and shortness of breath.
However, once you discover which treatments work best for you, they can be easier to deal with daily. This is why MG is often referred to as the “snowflake disease,” since symptoms and treatment vary from person to person.
While it’s a more temporary condition, eyelids can become affected by allergic reactions when the loose tissues of the eyelid become swollen, causing the eyelids to droop and block vision. If an eyelid becomes severely swollen, it can prevent the lid from opening at all and requires immediate medical attention.
Once your eyes experience an allergic reaction, they can become swollen, inflamed, red, and itchy. While these are general symptoms, the appearance of an eye affected by an allergen can vary depending on the individual and what they are allergic to. Common examples of allergies that can cause issues around or in the eyes are mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.