As we get
older, the lower eyelids sometimes start to droop away from the eyeball.
Drooping is the result of reduced muscle tone in the muscles that control the
If your lower eyelids droop outward, away from the eye
(ectropion), they may no longer be able to protect your
eyes, and your eyes may become dry and irritated. If your eyelids turn inward
(entropion), forcing the lashes onto the eye, this also
may cause irritation and possible damage.
eyelids can prevent tears from draining normally, so tears may run down your
cheeks. Excessive tearing can also be a sign of increased sensitivity to light
or wind, an
eye infection, or a
blocked tear duct.
If your upper eyelids
droop low enough (ptosis), or the eyelid skin folds over
the edge of the lid, your vision may be impaired.
There is no home
treatment for drooping eyelids. But surgery can sometimes help.
When to Call a Doctor
Call a doctor if:
Your eye is painful or there is swelling extending beyond the lid
Your eyelids droop suddenly.
interfere with your vision.
Your eyes are dry and irritated, or
your eyelids do not close completely while you are awake or
Your eyelashes start to rub on your eyeball.
Other Places To Get Help
P.O. Box 7424
San Francisco, CA 94120-7424
This website is provided by
the American Academy of Ophthalmology. It provides general information and
brochures on eye conditions and diseases and low-vision resources and
National Eye Institute, National Institutes of
31 Center Drive MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
As part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the National Eye
Institute provides information on eye diseases and vision research.
Publications are available to the public at no charge. The Web site includes
links to various information resources.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.