Are Ptosis and Lazy Eye Related? - SightMD Skip to main content

March 03, 2023

By: James R. Gordon

Are Ptosis and Lazy Eye Related?

Close up of female with dark hair and green eyes

Many vision conditions that adversely affect a person’s ability to are related to the eyelids. And these conditions have many names. For this edition of Everyday InSight, we are going to study two terms: “ptosis” and “lazy eye.” Specifically, we ask the question…

Is Ptosis the Same as Lazy Eye?

Ptosis, also known as blepharoptosis, is a drooping or falling of the upper eyelid. The drooping may worsen after being awake longer when the individual’s muscles are tired. This condition is sometimes called “lazy eye,” but that term normally refers to the condition amblyopia. The answer to whether or not ptosis is the same as lazy eye is a little complicated. Paralleling “drooping eyelid” as the commonly used term for ptosis, “lazy eye” is a general term that’s used for a condition known as “amblyopia” (or astigmatism). And here is where the comparison answers the question above: Amblyopia is actually a severe form of ptosis.

Can Ptosis surgery fix lazy eye?

For that surgical procedure, you will need to see a plastic surgeon specialized in ptosis repair which: Focuses on correcting weakened muscles rather than just removing and tightening skin. Corrects both the functional and cosmetic problems caused by lazy eye.

What happens if Ptosis is not treated?

If it is not corrected, a condition called amblyopia (lazy eye) may develop. Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent poor vision.

Should I be worried about Ptosis?

Depending on the degree to which a person’s drooping eyelid continues to develop, a “drooping eyelid” (a.k.a. ptosis) can become a case of “lazy eye” (a.k.a. amblyopia). Should you or someone you know begin to develop ptosis, it is therefore very important to have this conditioned monitored by your eye care professional. Treatment options depend on how seriously the eyelid is affected, and may require either Botox injections or surgery to tighten the eyelid. (And, should eyelid surgery be necessary, be aware that it is a commonly performed operation that typically takes between half-an-hour and one hour to perform. Believe it or not, this procedure – known as blepharoplasty – can even be performed in an outpatient setting.

We hope we’ve cleared up any confusion surrounding the use of the terms “ptosis” and “lazy eye.” If you have any other questions, or are experiencing problems with your eyelids, don’t hesitate to reach out to SightMD. Our staff of eye care professionals are here to help you with this and any other vision-related matter.