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Crystal Eyecare Can Provide Ptosis Crutches & Frame Modifications.

Ptosis crutches are a bar that is installed on a frame in order to help the lid remain open. This bar is coated with either tube shrink or a skin safe material to prevent allergy to the underlying material. We have made a gallery of some of the crutches done at Crystal Eyecare.

Ptosis Crutches

Ptosis Crutches Top View

Ptosis crutches are essentially soldered or welded on. They come in two varieties; one or two point solder joint. A two-point solder joint solders both ends to the frame and is the “stiffest.” The one above is a single-joint solder. I have found through experience that the two-point ptosis crutch works best.

How does the Ptosis Crutch work?

The bar acts as a wedge between the loose skin and the frame. Depending on how much loose skin, the excess lid drapes over the bar. The ptosis crutch is usually a last resort due to the surgical options available to patients, but we have seen patients who for other medical reasons refuse or run out of surgical interventions due to lack of lid and/or levator muscle are excellent candidates for ptosis crutches.

How do I get Ptosis Crutches?

If you’d like Crystal Eyecare to make you a pair of ptosis crutches. The easiest way would be to come on in. That said, I know this service is difficult to locate.  To receive this service from us from of of the area, I’ve provided some instructions.

With the intended metal frames on:

  • Please provide a picture of the right side and left side profiles.
  • Provide a picture of the patient looking at the distance.
  • Provide a 1 minute video of the patient. I’m looking to see if there are any blepharospasms or apraxia of the eye lids.
  • Make sure the frame you select is of high quality. A high quality frame would be a frame made of a “high copper” content. The easiest way to test is to scratch the paint off in a discreet area and look for a yellow/red copper color. If it’s gray, that may indicate the frame is of poor quality. Stainless steel frames would be a good 2nd choice, but titanium would not be. Frames from Walmart or Zenni optical are composed of alloys that do not lend themselves to soldering.
  • The diagnosis, if any.

It can’t be emphasized enough that the frames have to be high quality with a high content of copper or noble metals, like silver or gold, which work best for soldering. Please note that the frame will have the paint scorched. I also recommend a frame strap with rubber tips. The frame exerts a forward pressure and the strap counter-acts the frame slipping forward leading to a more predictable and comfortable pressure.

How Do I Adjust My Ptosis Crutches?

A note on blepharospasms. Ptosis crutches can assist keeping the eye open, but it is not as elegant a solution as one might hope. A few patients with various blepharospasms have requested it with mixed results. We have not found a criteria for why it helps in one case vs another.