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What Is A Lazy Eyelid?

What Is A Lazy Eyelid?

Palpebral ptosis or blepharoptosis (commonly known as lazy eyelid) is a medical term used to refer to a fall of the upper eyelid of one or both eyes produced generally by the malfunction of the muscle responsible for raising this structure (levator palpebrae muscle).

Lazy eyelid can be congenital, that means that the patient may have been born with this problem, or it can be acquired and due to the tissues aging, the lack of nervous stimulation in the muscle, the appearance of a cyst or a tumor or poor muscle function. Aging is the main cause of lazy eyelid.

In addition, the lazy eyelid can cover the eye only a little or, on the contrary, can completely hide the pupil, blocking vision and reducing the visual field. If this situation occurs during childhood, lazy eyelid may appear associated with amblyopia or lazy eye, which should be assessed by the specialist in ophthalmology. In other cases, it causes the patient to lift the eyelid with the finger to see or even to tilt the head backwards, suffering from torticollis and cervical pain.

What Is A Lazy Eyelid?

Lazy eyelid should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to reduce, not only the aesthetic symptoms suffered by the patient, but also the associated visual problems that may result, especially in the case of children with amblyopia.

There are a lot of factors that can cause a lazy eyelid or blepharoptosis. There are, therefore, different types of lazy eyelid that are usually classified according to their origin:

-Myogenic: In this case, the levator muscle does not perform its function well and does not get the upper eyelid to remain in its position. It can be congenital (from birth) or appear throughout life.

-Aponeurotic: It is the most common cause of lazy eyelid. It is produced by the palpebral tissues aging, which causes the levator muscle to loosen and the eyelid to fall.

Neurogenic: This anomaly is characterized by the lack of nerve signal in the muscle. It usually appears in children.

-Mechanics: It occurs in association with the presence of a lump or tumor in the upper eyelid, causing a “mechanical” fall.

Symptoms of Lazy Eyelid

Therefore, In Summary, Lazy Eyelid Can Manifest Itself Through Different Symptoms:

-A drop of the upper eyelid, which covers the eye completely or partially.

-Reduction of the visual field if the eyelid comes to cover the iris and the pupil.

-Unnatural positions of the head and neck that can lead to chronic neck pain.

The treatment of lazy eyelid is usually surgical, whether we are talking about a child or an adult. The objective of the surgery of fallen eyelids performed by the ophthalmologist specialized in ocular plastic surgery (oculoplasty) is to elevate the upper eyelid to its normal position and achieve symmetry of the two eyelids. For this, in the intervention can be used different techniques depending on the causes that originated the Lazy eyelid. In this way, and thanks to the different treatments, it is possible to help improve the patient’s vision and aesthetic appearance. In addition, these procedures are usually performed without visible incisions and with minimally invasive techniques.

Surgery to give a solution to this problem can be associated with other complementary treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, such as correction of amblyopia or lazy eye in children through occlusions with patches or the use of glasses or, even, the removal of part of the skin of the upper eyelid through an operation called blepharoplasty.

Can Lazy Eyelid Be Prevented?

Lazy eyelid cannot be prevented, but can be easily detected in early stages. It is even possible to act before the visual field is affected and the unsightly effect it causes is very pronounced. Its correction prevents torticollis and cervical pain, discomforts frequently associated with this dysfunction.


Lazy eyelid or blepharoptosis is more common than previously thought, but specialists usually find it difficult to find the origin of this pathology, due to its wide list of causes. This pathology requires surgical intervention. Even when the surgery is performed, the patient will have to perform physiotherapy to reduce inflammation and restore eye mobility in the condition of lazy eyelid.


  1. American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Ptosis (Drooping Eyelids).” https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-ptosis
  2. Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan. “Ptosis (Drooping Eyelid).” https://www.umkelloggeye.org/conditions-treatments/ptosis-drooping-eyelid
  3. American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Amblyopia (Lazy Eye).” https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amblyopia-lazy-eye

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 24, 2023

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