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
Horton JC (2012). Disorders of the eye. In DL Longo et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed., vol. 1, pp. 224–241. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Vagefi MR, et al. (2011). Lids and lacrimal apparatus. In P Riordan-Eva, ET Cunningham, eds., Vaughan and Asbury's General Ophthalmology, 18th ed., pp. 67–82. New York: McGraw-Hill.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology