Can you fix droopy eyelids naturally?
Unfortunately, droopy eyelids caused by ptosis cannot be cured with natural treatments, exercises or other home remedies. The nature of ptosis is what prevents it from being treated naturally.
When ptosis is unilateral (affects just one eye), which it commonly is, it gives the appearance of uneven eyelids. A problem with the levator muscle in the top eyelid is usually responsible for the drooping appearance, but other causes can be involved too.
Medical treatment isn’t always required for ptosis. In certain circumstances, ptosis can go away on its own. Treatment is usually reserved for people with severe drooping that affects their vision. Some people may elect to seek treatment for appearance purposes.
SEE RELATED: Possible causes of ptosis
Debunking common ptosis “treatments”
Because ptosis occurs when something disrupts an eyelid muscle or the way the nerves communicate with that muscle, the problem goes beyond any simple form of home treatment.
It’s not hard to find websites and social media users suggesting all kinds of ways to treat ptosis naturally. While they are mostly harmless, they will not improve drooping eyelids.
Some of the most common solutions include:
Eating certain foods, such as grapes or carrots. Healthy, whole foods can contribute to better eye health, but will not improve the neuromuscular cause of ptosis.
Supplements like B12 or lutein. There is currently no scientific evidence proving that supplements can help ptosis.
Eye patches. An eye doctor can prescribe an eye patch for a child with amblyopia, but the patch will not affect eyelid drooping. In fact, wearing an eye patch for long periods of time outside of its recommended use may negatively impact your vision.
Doing facial exercises. Often called “face yoga,” face exercises will not get rid of ptosis. At best, exercises may reduce the amount of eyelid droop briefly, but any effect is short-lived.
Unfortunately, ptosis doesn’t really respond to things you can do on your own. The only proven treatment for ptosis that doesn’t go away on its own is surgery.
For this reason, most people with cosmetic ptosis (having little to no effect on vision) choose to live with the condition and adapt as best as they can.
How ptosis can be fixed
Ptosis surgery is the only effective method of treatment for severe ptosis that has been present from birth or caused by injury.
During this procedure, a surgeon makes a small incision to access and tighten the levator muscle, allowing the patient to then open their eyelid to a more normal height.
Droopy eyelids can sometimes indicate an underlying disorder. These disorders can affect the muscles, nerves, brain, eyes or the area around the eyes. This is called acquired ptosis, which means it developed later in life as opposed to being present at birth (congenital). Treating acquired ptosis starts with addressing the underlying disorder that's causing it.
SEE RELATED: Symptoms of ptosis
Are there home remedies for ptosis caused by Botox?
Ptosis after Botox can occur when the injected toxin travels to the wrong area and temporarily paralyzes muscles in the eyelids or brow. It’s believed to be a relatively rare side effect.
There are no known home remedies for Botox-induced ptosis, but certain medical treatments may be able to reduce the amount of drooping until it resolves. Any eyelid drooping from Botox often goes away on its own within three to four weeks of any injections, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Alternatively, Botox is sometimes used to manage very mild cases of unilateral ptosis. It can also be combined with traditional surgery in certain situations.
Visit your eye doctor
Always make sure to talk to your eye doctor before trying any natural treatments or home remedies for ptosis. Some of these "solutions" can have their own risks and side effects.
If you notice one or both eyelids drooping lower than normal, scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist is your best course of action to determine the cause of your ptosis and whether treatment is indicated.
Page published in September 2020
Page updated in June 2021