Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care warning signs Underlying Cause

Drooping Eyelid Underlying Cause

The most common cause of drooping eyelid is old age. The normal aging process can weaken the muscles around the eye that keep the lid open. In addition, the skin around the eyelid loses elasticity. Both of these processes can lead to drooping eyelid.

Temporary swelling of the eyelid can cause drooping eyelid.

Conditions that cause swelling of the eyelid include:


The eyelids are held open by muscles in the face. The brain sends signals to nerves that stimulate the muscles. If these signals are interrupted, the muscles become weak and drooping eyelid can occur.

Conditions that can interrupt these signals include:

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Drooping Eyelid References
  1. Bassin RE, Putterman AM. Ptosis in young adults. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2002 Spring;42(2):31-43. [1191470]
  2. Finsterer J. Ptosis: causes, presentation, and management. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2003 May-Jun;27(3):193-204. [12925861]
  3. Gausas RE, Goldstein SM. Ptosis in the elderly patient. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2002 Spring;42(2):61-74. [11914704]
  4. Lee V, Konrad H, Bunce C, Nelson C, Collin JR. Aetiology and surgical treatment of childhood blepharoptosis. Br J Ophthalmol. 2002 Nov;86(11):1282-6. [12386090]
  5. Thakker MM, Rubin PA. Mechanisms of acquired blepharoptosis. Ophthalmol Clin North Am. 2002 Mar;15(1):101-11. [12064073]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.