Entropion and Ectropion

Entropion

In-turning of the Eyelid

An entropion is an in-turning of the lower eyelid.  This is also caused by slippage of the muscles which normally allow the eyelid to function properly.  When the eyelid is allowed to rotate inward, it puts the lashes right up against the eye which causes a scratching of the cornea.  The eye experiences a foreign body sensation and the constant abrasion of the cornea could lead to a severe infection of the cornea and loss of the eye.

In the repair of entropion, the muscles that normally hold the lower eyelid are repositioned to their normal location.  Any excess skin that is hampering the lid from functioning is removed.


Ectropion

Out-turning of the Eyelid

An ectropion is a sagging of the lower eyelid outward and downward.  As we get older, different parts of our body tend to sag.  This is also true for the eyelid.  As we age, the eyelid tends to hang lower and lower and eventually move away from the eye.  Normally, the lower eyelid is well opposed against the eye so that it can do its job of protecting and keeping the cornea moist.  When an ectropion occurs, as the eyelid sags away from the eye, the cornea tends to dry out.  The problems this presents are numerous with the most common being a sandy, gritty or burning sensation in the eye as well as tearing.  It can progress to severe dryness in which the eye is very prone to an infection, and possibly loss of the eye itself.

The treatment of ectopion is tucking and tightening of the lower lid.  A small incision is created near the outside corner of the eye and the eyelid is tightened to its normal position.  If there is excess skin which is hampering the eyelid from functioning, it will be removed.