Entropion is a condition where the eyelid rolls inward towards the eye. This can cause the eyelid and eyelashes to rub against the cornea, and potentially lead to vision loss from corneal infection and/or scarring. Usually, it results in chronic redness, irritation, and tearing with the feeling like there is something in the eye.
Entropion is usually due to laxity and instability of the lower eyelid from aging. It can also be caused by scarring on the inside of the eyelid from previous trauma or infection.
Ectropion is a condition where the eyelid turns outward away from the eye, such that the eyelid is no longer in contact with the eye. This results in redness of the conjunctiva (the mucus membrane lining of the eyelid) due to exposure. It can also cause constant tearing.
Ectropion is usually caused by laxity of the lower eyelid due to aging. However, it can also be caused by scarring of the lower eyelid skin from previous trauma, surgery, skin cancer, or rosacea. It can also be due to Bell’s palsy.
Entropion and ectropion can sometimes be managed with topical lubricants. However, often surgery is needed to repair the underlying anatomical problem. This usually involves a lid tightening procedure that repositions the eyelid to its normal state. This can be done on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia and monitored sedation.
Diagram of the orbit and eyelids in cross section
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