Know all about ptosis, the eye condition Zeenat Aman suffered

Veteran actor Zeenat Aman has revealed her struggle with ptosis. We asked an expert what is ptosis, its causes and treatment options.
Zeenat Aman on ptosis
After years of struggling with ptosis, actor Zeenat Aman has undergone surgery. Image courtesy: Instagram | Zeenat Aman
Purvi Kalra Updated: 9 Nov 2023, 04:11 pm IST
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During the peak of her film career during the 1970s and 80s, actor Zeenat Aman charmed the audience with her glamourous charm, immense grace and talent. In the current day and age, she continues to win love not just for her body of work, but also for her unfiltered persona on Instagram. In a latest post, she has addressed an “elephant in the room” – her drooping eyelid that has been a talking point ever since she revealed once upon a time that she has been a victim of physical abuse. An injury several years ago left Zeenat Aman with damaged muscles around her right eye, a condition called ptosis.

Zeenat Aman opens up about ptosis

The 71-year-old, who has played some unforgettable roles on screen, often shares personal anecdotes that inspire her fans to never lose their inner spark. Just like no one is immune to the highs and lows of life, Zeenat Aman is no exception. Her heart-warming note on Instagram gives us a sneak peek into her struggle with ptosis that obstructed her vision and made her journey tougher in an industry where looks matter.

She wrote, “There has been an elephant in the room with me for the past 40 years. It is time to show this elephant the door. I have a condition known as ptosis-the result of an injury I suffered many decades ago that damaged the muscles around my right eye. Over the years, it caused my eyelid to droop further and further. And, a few years ago, it became so acute that it began to obstruct my vision.”

Coming to terms with her predicament and a dramatic shift of circumstances was hard for Zeenat Aman. Being in the public eye made it difficult for her to veil her condition for long. However, the naysayers and sceptics didn’t deter her spirit.

“When so much of one’s career is predicated on one’s appearance, coming to terms with a dramatic change is difficult. I know for a fact that this ptosis narrowed my opportunities and made me the subject of unwanted attention. But despite the gossip, the comments, and the questions, I never felt diminished by it. It helped, of course, that there were always a few stalwarts who stood by me and chose to work with me still,” said Zeenat.

Zeenat Aman
Zeenat Aman during the golden years of her career. Image courtesy: Instagram | Zeenat Aman

Zeenat Aman undergoes surgery for ptosis treatment

For decades, the treatment options available to her were unsuccessful. She hid the condition behind sunglasses or hair. This year brought happy news and a ray of hope for her when a leading ophthalmologist informed her that things had advanced, and surgery to lift the eyelid and restore her field of vision was possible.

Even the faintest idea of committing to surgery made her feel intimidated and shaken. But after undergoing a battery of tests, she finally decided to commit to the procedure with her loved ones backing her through rough times. Post an hour of surgery, she emerged from the OT. In her words, she came out, “Alive, well and looking like a pirate with an eye patch.”

“Recovery has been slow, steady and is ongoing. But, I’m happy to share that my vision is so much clearer now,” adds Zeenat Aman, who even shared a picture of her son Zahaan kissing her forehead, reassuring her before wheeling her to the OT.

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What is ptosis?

Ptosis, commonly known as droopy eyelid, is a medical term used to describe the drooping or sagging of the upper eyelid, senior ophthalmologist Dr Y Jayapal Reddy tells Health Shots. This condition can affect one or both eyes and may vary in severity, ranging from a slight droop to a more significant covering of the eye. Ptosis can occur in individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly. It can be caused by various factors and can lead to both cosmetic and functional issues.

Congenital ptosis is typically noticed in childhood, while age-related ptosis becomes more prevalent in adults over the age of 40. Also, neurological and traumatic causes of ptosis can affect people of various ages.

What causes ptosis of the eyelid?

Some of the common causes behind ptosis include:

1. Age-related ptosis is the most common, stemming from weakened eyelid muscles in the aging process
2. Congenital ptosis occurs from birth, often requiring treatment if it hinders vision
3. Neurological conditions, like myasthenia gravis or Horner’s Syndrome, can affect eyelid muscle control, leading to ptosis
4. Trauma to the eye area can damage muscles or nerves, causing ptosis
5. While rare, tumours in or around the eyelid area can be another cause of ptosis

What is the treatment for ptosis?

Treatment options include observation for mild age-related ptosis, surgery for moderate to severe cases involving adjustment of eyelid muscles, addressing underlying medical or neurological conditions if present, temporary solutions like eyelid crutches or ptosis crutches to support the eyelid and improve vision, and, in specific instances, the use of Botox injections for temporary relief, says Dr Reddy.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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