AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - As people get older, sometimes their vision starts to fail them. There are many solutions people try to correct their vision, but what if it is not your eyesight that’s the problem? Well, that was the case for 102-year-old Gladys Pelzer.
Pelzer recalled, “I couldn’t see normally, you know. My eye started closing in on me. I would have to let it stay down, or take my hand and lift the lid up. It wouldn’t stay up by itself." She is one of many who suffer from Blepharoptosis, or eyelid drooping. She didn’t really know what was wrong with her eye, just that she was having trouble doing things she always did.
Peltzer’s doctor, Dr. Dilip Thomas, with Augusta University, explained, “Her reading was impaired. Typically people compensate for it by raising their eyebrow.” Dr. Thomas says she had lost 40-50% of her upper visual field. Since it’s hard to read while raising your eyebrows, Pelzer pretty much stopped reading altogether. She said, “I read the Bible most of the time. I like to go to Sunday School, and my eyes got so difficult to see that I stopped going.”
Pelzer chalked up her issues to poor eyesight, spending hundreds of dollars on new glasses that did not help. Dr. Thomas says patients rarely understand why they’re experiencing issues. Common symptoms include people saying you look tired all the time, having headaches on your forehead or above your eyebrow, trouble reading or even in some cases, a lazy eye can develop. Dr. Thomas said, “Some people have a lid droop because of excess skin or a heavy eyebrow, but in her case, the muscle slipped essentially, like a tendon on your knee.”
An hour long procedure in the office allowed Pelzer to see normally again. Even with swelling as she healed, she noticed the change immediately. She said, “I wish I would’ve gotten this done two or three years ago.” She encourages anyone who is suffering from eyelid droop or thinks they might be to see a doctor as soon as possible.