Entropion and ectropion affect the way your eyelid rests against your eye. Entropion causes your eyelid to turn inward and rub against your eye. This condition can cause redness and inflammation, and if left untreated, it can lead to corneal damage. If you have ectropion, your bottom eyelid turns outward, exposing your eye and leading to dryness, redness, and irritation. As with ectropion, untreated ectropion can cause lasting eye damage. At SightMD, we treat both conditions. Surgery is usually the only way to treat entropion and ectropion, and our advanced procedures involve minimal scarring, discomfort, and recovery time. These procedures are typically covered by insurance.
Entropion occurs when your upper or lower eyelid turns inward, either all the time or only when you shut your eyes. It can be caused by muscle weakness, scarring, infections, and in rare cases, patients can be born with entropion. As you blink or close your eyes, the skin rubs against your eye, causing symptoms such as:
- Light sensitivity
- The feeling of something inside your eye
- Significant discomfort
- Excessive tearing
If left untreated, entropion can lead to infections and corneal damage. If you experience symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
The most common surgical treatment involves tightening the eyelid through a small incision at the corner of your eye or just below the lower lid. Patients typically experience relief immediately following surgery. Recovery time is minimal, and any discomfort can typically be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication and antibiotic ointment.
Ectropion occurs when the lower eyelid turns out, exposing the eye to debris, dust, and wind. Cases can range from mild (only a part of the eyelid turns out) to severe (the entire lid droops down). If you suffer from this condition, it can interfere with proper tear drainage. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
- Excessive tearing
If left untreated, your cornea may develop ulcers and begin to break down as a result of chronic exposure. Although age is the most common cause of this condition, facial paralysis, stroke, and other conditions can also cause ectropion.
Surgery is often the only way to treat ectropion. Your doctor may use one of several techniques, depending on your specific symptoms and the severity of your condition. Most commonly, the surgeon will remove a tiny amount of tissue from the eyelid before closing the incisions to create the necessary amount of tension. After your procedure, you may experience some tightness and sensitivity in the area. You can treat this discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses. Even before your recovery is complete, you can experience an improvement in your symptoms.