One of the most common oculoplastic problems that occurs in the elderly is drooping of the eyelids (ptosis). As we age, the muscle that opens the eyelids (the levator muscle) gradually slips off the eyelid causing the eyelid to droop down. The drooping eyelid decreases the upper field of vision, similar to when a window shade is pulled down, blocking the view at the top of the window. Droopy eyelids occasionally cause the sensation of falling asleep while reading. Brow ache is also a symptom in those that are now opening their eyes with the help of their forehead (frontalis) muscle instead of the normal levator muscle. The overusage of the forehead muscle is the cause of wrinkled foreheads in the elderly. As with any other muscle, as you use this muscle constantly throughout the day, it tends to cramp and ache.
In the treatment of ptosis, the muscle (levator) that normally raises the eyelid is located and put back into its normal position. This is performed on an outpatient basis. The patients now look and feel much better and enjoy a more youthful appearance with the elimination of their symptoms.