What is an entropion?
Entropion is a condition in which the margin of the lower eyelid is rolled inward towards the eye. As a result the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea (the front ‘window’ of the eye).
What are the causes of entropion?
The most common cause of entropion is the laxity of tissues that support the lower eyelid, seen as part of the normal aging process. Other less common causes of entropion include previous trauma, chemical injuries, and inflammatory disorders of the conjunctiva on the inner aspects of the eyelids.
What are the symptoms of entropion?
The constant rubbing of the eyelashes against the cornea and conjunctiva can lead to the following symptoms:
Crusting of eyelid and mucous discharge
Grittiness or sandy feeling
Sensitivity to light
Blurring of vision
Can entropion pose a risk to the eye and vision?
Untreated entropion carries a significant risk of eye infections, corneal abrasions, or corneal ulcers. It is thus important to have this condition repaired before these complications permanently damage the eye. If entropion is present in an eye requiring cataract surgery, it is advisable to correct the eyelid abnormality first.
What is the treatment for entropion?
Surgery is usually required to correct an entropion. In most cases, Dr Mavrikakis will tighten the eyelid and its attachments, usually through a small incision at the outer corner of the eye, and will also re-attach the lower eyelid retractors through a horizontal skin incision beneath the eyelashes. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia. Patients recover quickly using an antibiotic ointment for about one week after surgery. Most patients experience immediate resolution of the problem following surgery.
If you need to delay surgery, tape or sutures can be used to temporarily reposition the eyelid and protect the eye. Lubricating eye drops and ointments are also helpful. Unfortunately, these measures do not result in permanent cure.