4 Things Contact Lens Wearers Need To Know About Ptosis

Contact lenses can cause a wide variety of complications. Wearing your contact lenses for too long can cause ptosis, a condition that makes your eyelids droop. Here's what you need to know about this condition. 

How do contact lenses cause ptosis?

A network of muscles and tendons are responsible for holding your upper eyelid in place. Repetitively pulling on your eyelid to insert or remove your contact lenses can stretch out these muscles and tendons, which eventually leads to ptosis. Try to handle your eyelids delicately when you insert or remove your contact lenses, and consider wearing your glasses occasionally to reduce the strain on your eyelids. 

How common is this complication?

Ptosis is very common among people who wear some types of contact lenses. Studies have shown that people who wear hard contact lenses are 20 times more likely to develop ptosis than people who don't wear contact lenses. About 90% of people with ptosis have worn hard contact lenses at some point in their lives. Soft contact lenses have also been linked to ptosis, but more studies need to be done to find out if they increase your risk as much as hard contact lenses do.

Can ptosis cause more serious problems?

Drooping eyelids are obviously a cosmetic problem, but this condition can lead to serious vision problems, too. Ptosis can block your peripheral vision, the part of your vision that allows you to see objects beside you. Losing your peripheral vision can make everyday tasks like driving more dangerous. 

Ptosis can also block your central vision, the part of your vision that lets you see straight ahead. Needing to hold your eyelid out of the way to see straight ahead is a major problem, and one that will make your life much more challenging. 

Can ptosis be reversed?

Ptosis can be surgically corrected. The muscles that hold up your eyelids will be surgically shortened; this will allow your eyelid to be held in its proper place, out of the way of your vision. This surgery is fairly simple, and can be completed in as little as 25 minutes. Afterwards, your eyes may be irritated or dry, so you may need to use artificial tears and go back to your glasses until your eyes feel better. 

Sometimes, optometrists can treat this condition without surgery. Injections of Botox, the chemical that is used to erase wrinkles, can be used to correct the position of your eyelids. 

If your eyelids are starting to droop, make an appointment with your optometrist to see if your contact lenses are to blame.