Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
What causes eyelids to feel so heavy that they want to close all the time?

Answer:
There are many reasons your eyelids could feel heavy. An individual could have ptosis or droopy eyelids. This can be congenital (you are born with the condition) or acquired (develops as you get older). In this case the eyelid position is lower than normal. Eyelids can droop for many reasons, all fundamentally caused by a weakness of the muscles of the eyelid that open your eyes (levator muscle or Mueller’s muscle).

Eyelids can also feel heavy if there is excess upper eyelid skin or eyebrow droopiness. These conditions can occur as you age and can be corrected with surgery.

Dry eyes or eye allergies can also cause the eyelids to feel heavy. This may be treated with eye drops. Finally there is a condition called blepharospasm, in which there are uncontrollable spasms of the eyelids forcing intermittent eyelid closure. This condition may be treated with Botulinum toxin injections.

Given that the differential diagnosis of heavy eyes is so broad, an examination with an Eye MD to determine the individual nature of the heaviness is recommended. Your doctor will be able to guide you to recommendations for improvement.

Answered by: Rona Silkiss, MD Dr. Rona Silkiss

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: May 11, 2014

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