Did you know that up to 13.5% of the population has ptosis or droopy eyelids? If you’ve noticed that one or both of your eyelids are sagging, you could have ptosis, too.

The most common causes of droopy eyelids are eyelid muscle weakness, eyelid nerve damage, and eyelid skin looseness. Sometimes, these changes may come with aging, develop after an injury, or exist before birth.

If you’re interested in learning more about the causes of droopy eyelids, keep reading. We’re going to cover some of the most common causes here.


As we said, ptosis may develop with age.

As we age, the muscle that holds our eyelids up grows weaker. This may cause the eyelids to droop slowly over time.

Eye Injury

You may also hurt your eyelid muscle by injuring your eye. If something or someone hits your eye, you could weaken the muscle that holds your eyelid.

Rubbing your eye too much or wearing contact lenses for too long can also harm the muscle.

Eye Surgery

Surgical operations on the eye can also cause a change in the muscle that raises the lid. Cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, and LASIK can all cause this.

The exact cause is unknown, but it’s likely that the tool that holds your eyelid back during the surgery may damage the eyelid muscle.

Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack the covering of the nerve cells. If it attacks the nerves around the eyeball, it could cause droopy eyelids. 

Horner Syndrome

Horner Syndrome causes the nerve pathways around your eye to become damaged. Over time, this causes the eyelid to sag.

Some people are born with Horner Syndrome while others develop it after having a noncancerous or cancerous tumor.

Headaches and Migraines

Serious headaches and migraines can lead to an issue with the trigeminal nerve which controls the eyelid. 

When the headache goes away, the eyelid sagging should go away, too. So, managing your headaches may help fix droopy eyelids as well.

Eyelid Tumor

The development of an eyelid tumor can cause mechanical ptosis. This eyelid drooping occurs because of the sheer weight of the tumor pulling the eyelid down.

Some patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 may develop eyelid tumors regularly. While these may not be cancerous, they may require treatment.

You can learn about eyelid surgery here.

Eye Infection

Conjunctivitis or styes can cause eyelid swelling. In turn, this can cause the eyelid to start drooping.

This should subside after a week or two. Although, you may need antibiotics to help treat the infection.

How to Help Droopy Eyelids With Eyelid Surgery

Some cases of droopy eyelids require eyelid surgery to lift the lid. This procedure is known as a blepharoplasty and can help repair the sagging or drooping that you’re experiencing. 

If you’re dealing with droopy eyelids, you should ask your ophthalmologist about what you can do to heal your condition.

To learn more about common medical conditions like this, check out the rest of our blog.