Ptosis & Contact Lenses

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Many people today wear contact lenses without realizing they increase the chance of ptosis. People prefer lenses instead of glasses because of numerous reasons. Some of them can’t get used to wearing glasses and find contact lenses more comfortable. Some of them don’t like the image in the mirror and prefer contact lenses, which don’t ruin it. Undoubtedly, glasses have some advantages, so do contact lenses. Undoubtedly, both things have their own disadvantages. For example, contact lenses might scratch the eye and cause ptosis but people often don’t know risks so don’t care. We, on the other hand, are so fond of details that can’t skip useful information and ignore it. Read till the end to find about more about how these two things are connected.

What causes ptosis?

Muscle, called levator, is responsible for eyelids movement. Imagine one elevator, it will move upside down only if ropes are the exact same length. If one of them is longer, the elevator will fall a little bit and will stop between floors. The same thing happens with levator muscle, eyelids, and the eye. If the levator muscle is loose, it drops the eyelid and eye can’t see properly. Although here this whole difference is just a millimetre or two, for the vision, this is a dramatic change. Stretching out the levator muscle causes ptosis.

How do contact lenses work?

They are oval silicone lenses that people insert in their eyes carefully. In order for this to happen, people open their eyes and pull out the eyelids to widen the space. Stretching levator muscles is happening exactly at that moment without people realizing, they interfere with its normal work. If this happens one or two times per year it won’t make a difference but people who wear contact lenses do it at least twice every day. Wearing glasses, of course, will reduce this number and people will run away from ptosis risk.

Do you think I will 100% will have ptosis if I wear contact lenses?

No, it is not a certain fact. Some people are predisposed and their eye muscles are weaker. One study shows that this problem is not inheritable and you won’t get it from your parents. Another study I have found on the percentage of people who already have ptosis, and had worn contact lenses. The number is a significant one. They have found out that 90% of people with weak levator muscle have worn contact lenses even in the past. This means that if you are wearing them now and for the next 10 years you wear glasses, there is still a chance to develop ptosis.

ptosis eyelids

Why should you be afraid of ptosis?

Droopy eyelids, ptosis is a significant problem but not as big as prevented vision. If the eyelid falls down too much it will start to prevent the vision of the patient. Until this point, ptosis is more like a cosmetic issue than a healthy one. If it prevents vision then medical assistance is needed. Peripheral vision is responsible for objects beside us so it is the main victim of ptosis. Imagine driving without peripheral vision – it would be a disaster. On the other hand, the worst-case scenario is driving with decreased peripheral vision, which is not acceptable, too.

If ptosis is an advance one then it could prevent seeing things, which are standing in front of us. Central vision is responsible for these objects. As you may guess, this shouldn’t happen. In addition, children who have ptosis and their parents ignore this problem will acquire a lazy eye. When ptosis is corrected, the lazy eye will appear, and they should care for it, too. Sounds tempting, right? One problem solved, another pop-up.

What is ptosis surgery?

The surgeon removes this part of the levator muscle that is too much. Every millimeter is important in this surgery because it defines a patient’s range of vision. That’s why only highly experienced doctors should perform it. The process for the surgery is simple and it takes a little amount of time – less than an hour. Of course, right after the surgery, it is not recommendable to use contact lenses immediately. Eyes are irritated and need time to get back their moisture again. That’s why some surgeons prescribe artificial drops. Don’t worry it is something ordinary. There is nothing wrong with your eyes.

Another method similar to ptosis surgery is Botox injection. Botox is a toxin that freezes muscles so it works for levator muscle, too. The disadvantage of this method is that it is not a permanent one and the patient should repeat the procedure when the effect of Botox vanishes.