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Eye and Vision Care

Ptosis Crutch

06/29/2001

Question:

I have a ptosis of the right eye, due to m.g. I have had this for approximately 22 years, starting when I was 11 years old. My optometrist recently suggested to me that a "ptosis crutch" might be helpful to me. He also told me, however, that very few people know how to make one anymore. He described to me how it works, but I`m still not sure if I understand exactly how it would fit onto my glasses. Can someone advise me of where I might get more information on who still makes these crutches, how they actually work, and how much I could expect to pay?

Answer:

Ptosis crutches involve mounting of a wire (or plastic) extension from an eye glass frame to help hold the eyelid open. They work by having the wire apply backward and upward pressure against the upper portion of the eyelid such that the lower edge of the lid sits higher up, exposing more of the eye.

There are few people these days who are skilled in the design and application of ptosis crutches. One strategy for finding a doctor or optician who is experienced in fitting such crutches is to contact your nearest school or college of optometry (see the weblink below) or the optician in the ophthalmology department of a major academic medical center in your area.

A motivated doctor or optician without specific experience fitting ptosis crutches may also be able to help you. There are materials made by Franel Optical (1-800-327-2070) and, perhaps, other companies that can be used with an appropriate plastic frame to make an effective ptosis crutch. I have seen the metal screw-on version work.

The costs associated with having a ptosis crutch made would probably include a new pair of glasses (which may be covered by insurance you already have) and the extensions to be applied. These materials cost about $40.00 to $100.00, I believe. Medicaid or other insurances might cover this as a low vision aid or medical prosthesis.

Best of luck to you.

Related Resources:

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry: U.S. schools and colleges

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Roanne   Flom, OD Roanne Flom, OD
Professor of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University