How do I know if I have ptosis?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Hi there!

Ptosis, or blepharoptosis, is a condition of the upper eyelids where the upper eyelid margin is droopy and covering a large portion of the cornea of the eye.

To determine if you have ptosis, you will first need to measure your marginal reflex distance (MRD1), which is the distance of the upper eyelid skin margin from the point of light on the pupil when looking straight towards a light source. Clinical ptosis is a MRD1 of 2mm and less.

If your MRD1 is 1-2mm, you will also need to have an official visual field test performed certifying visual field impairment, usually by an opthalmologist, before your ptosis can be considered medically claimable.

Other signs of ptosis include an obvious reduction in the upper field of vision, leading to you bumping into object, or the compensatory use of the forehead muscles to open the eyelids, leading to horizontal forehead lines.

Ptosis can arise from different causes including ageing, congenital, trauma and nerve damage. It is important to get a proper assessment by a plastic surgeon to determine the cause, and the appropriate treatment.

I hope this helps!

Dr Adrian Ooi

Consultant Plastic Surgeon

Polaris Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery