Ptosis - infants and children


Ptosis (eyelid drooping) in infants and children is when the upper eyelid is lower than it should be. This may occur in one or both eyes. Eyelid drooping that occurs at birth or within the first year is called congenital ptosis.


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

Ptosis may also occur due to certain conditions. Some of these include:

Eyelid drooping that occurs later in childhood or adulthood may have other causes.


Children with ptosis may tip their head back to see. They may raise their eyebrows to try to move the eyelid up. You may notice:


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

The provider also may do certain tests:

Other tests may be done to check for diseases or illnesses that may be causing ptosis.


Eyelid lift surgery (blepharoplasty) can repair drooping upper eyelids.

The provider will also treat any eye problems from ptosis. Your child may need to:

Children with mild ptosis should have regular eye exams to make sure amblyopia does not develop.

Surgery works well to improve the look and function of the eye. Some children need more than one surgery.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your health care provider if:

Review Date: 6/15/2015
Reviewed By: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Director of Vitreoretinal Surgery and Disease, Northwest Eye Surgeons, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.