Ptosis in children: Causes and symptoms

Ptosis in children: Causes and symptoms

In the early stages of your child’s life, one should always be on the lookout for signs and symptoms that could indicate something is wrong. One of these signs in infants and children is when the upper eyelid is lower than it should be. This may be seen in one of the eyes of even both of them. Eyelid drooping occurring at birth or within the first year is called Congenital Ptosis.

Lets’ understand what Ptosis is and why is it important to go for regular check-ups with a pediatric ophthalmologist in Chennai.

What is Ptosis?

Ptosis is the drooping of one or both eyelids and is present at birth or can also be acquired. Failing to get it treated at a pediatric ophthalmologist in Chennai could lead to:

  • Amblyopia or “Lazy eye” [When one eye cannot see well (in spite of glasses or other means)]
  • Eyesight problems like astigmatism (poor eyesight caused due to irregular eye shape)
  • Permanent disfigurement

What are some types of Ptosis and eyelid abnormalities?

Eyelid abnormalities often seen in babies and children include the following:

  • Ptosis, acquired or congenital
  • Birthmarks or growths on eyelids
  • Chalazia: Development of inflamed cysts on an eyelid oil gland getting blocked
  • Styes (hordeolum): Bacterial infection of the eyelash follicles

What are the causes of Ptosis?

Ptosis in children is often due to a problem with the muscle that raises the eyelid. A nerve problem in the eyelid can also cause the drooping.

Ptosis can also occur due to other conditions such as:

  • Trauma at birth (such as from the use of forceps)
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Problems in the brain and nervous system
  • Growths or tumors in the eyelid

Eyelid drooping occurring later in childhood or adulthood can have other causes.

What are the signs & symptoms of Ptosis?

The most obvious indicator of Ptosis is a droopy eyelid. Adults with this condition are usually worried about the aesthetics of their appearance. If the vision is impaired, it becomes a significant concern.

Common signs and symptoms of Ptosis include:

  • Increasing heaviness of the eyelid
  • Constant raising of the eyes or tilting of the head in an attempt to see better
  • Impaired vision
  • Frequent headaches caused due to muscle and eye strain

If you notice your child constantly lifting his or her head or raising his or her eyebrows frequently, it is a good indication that their vision is impaired. Hence, it is essential to visit a pediatric ophthalmologist in Chennai as soon as possible to explore the treatment options.

What kind of exams or tests are conducted to diagnose Ptosis?

The health care provider will do a physical exam to determine the cause.

The provider may also do other tests like:

  • Slit-lamp examination
  • Ocular motility (eye movement) test
  • Visual field testing

Other tests can also be done to check for diseases or illnesses that could cause Ptosis.

If you are concerned that your child may have vision impairment from Ptosis, schedule a consultation with a pediatric ophthalmologist in Chennai. He or she will help you determine if the condition should be treated or simply monitored.

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