Droopy eyelids, technically known as ptosis, can be a distressing condition for individuals and often require surgical intervention. If left untreated, ptosis can lead to amblyopia, and interfere with everyday life tasks such as reading, driving, and even walking. In many cases, surgery is the best option, but if surgery is not preferred, an alternative solution is to use scleral lenses to uplift the drooping eyelid. Ptosis surgery is an invasive procedure and may be deferred due to other health conditions or personal preferences.
Types of Ptosis:
Ptosis can happen due to various causes; it is classified into different categories based on the cause and onset of the eyelid droop.
Congenital ptosis occurs when a child is born with a droopy eyelid. This type of ptosis may require surgical intervention at a young age to prevent lazy eye development.
Acquired ptosis usually occurs in adults due to the levator muscle of the eyelid becoming overstretched over time. This type usually affects older individuals.
Neurogenic ptosis occurs when something affects the pathway between the nerves to the eyelid. This is a nerve problem within the face or skull.
Myogenic ptosis occurs due to muscle weakness in the body, such as muscular dystrophy. This is a problem with the muscle in the eyelid itself.
Mechanical ptosis occurs when the eyelid is weighed down with an eyelid mass or excess skin.
Traumatic ptosis happens when there is an injury to the eye or eyelid.
Scleral Lenses to Prop Up Ptotic Eyelids:
Surgery is the usual solution for treating ptosis. If a patient is not keen on surgery, an alternative solution is using scleral lenses to uplift the droopy lid.
This is achieved by strategically placing the lens on the sclera, forming a vaulted area between the lens and the cornea. This vaulted area helps expand the lid's skin, propping it up and resulting in an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Improving an eyelid droop with a scleral lens
Many patients suffer from droopy eyelids. The technical term for this is ptosis. Ptosis can happen from a variety of factors. A congenital ptosis occurs when a child is born with a droopy eyelid. Usually surgical intervention at a young age is necessary to help prevent this eye from becoming a lazy eye. Acquired ptosis is the most common ptosis and occurs in adults over time due to the levator muscle of the eyelid becoming overstretched. If you see your grandma or grandpa (or other people older than you) with droopy eyelids compared to your own, this is most likely the cause.
Neurogenic ptosis occurs when something affects the pathway between the nerves to the eyelid. Myogenic ptosis occurs when there is an issue in the body causing muscle weakness (such as muscular dystrophy).
Mechanical ptosis happens when the eyelid is weighed down with an eyelid mass or excess skin.Traumatic ptosis occurs when there is some sort of injury to the eye or eyelid. This particular patient has a traumatic ptosis, likely caused by multiple eye surgeries.
Surgery is the best option for this, however, if a patient does NOT want to undergo surgery, we can use a scleral lens to prop the eyelid open, so that it appears similar to the other eye.
In this case, we used a scleral lens and purposely vaulted it 600um to achieve this look. Scleral lenses are amazing, it seems like we are finding more and more ways to use them as technology improves.
Advantages of Scleral Lenses:
Scleral lenses are a game-changer in the field of vision correction and are currently used to improve not only ptosis but various other eye conditions, including keratoconus, corneal transplant surgery, and dry eyes. One of the benefits of scleral lenses are that they are custom-made to provide better comfort and fit for the wearer meaning that these types of lenses can be used when there are multiple problems within one eye.
Additionally, the scleral lens can act as a protective layer for the cornea when in the eye, preventing any debris or damage to the eye.
Summary of Scleral Lenses for Ptosis
There are various treatments for ptosis, ranging from non-surgical methods to surgical intervention. If surgery is not an option, scleral lenses can be a great alternative to correct ptosis.
Scleral lenses are a boon for those suffering from a wide range of eye conditions and have been reported to provide a higher level of clarity and comfort compared to traditional lenses. If you're experiencing ptosis, consult your eye care professional to discuss the treatment options that may be suitable for you.