Entropion is a condition where the eyelid turns inward. Typically entropion occurs on the lower eyelid where the skin and lashes rub painfully against the cornea. This condition may cause the lid to either turn in constantly or only at times when the eyes are closed tightly.
Causes of Entropion
Entropion usually occurs in older adults as a result of the aging process. In adults the muscles around the eyes may progressively weaken. A spasm or relaxation of the muscles near the eye can cause the lid to turn inward. Other causes of entropion include:
- Muscle weakness
- Congenital defect
- Skin disease
Symptoms of Entropion
The initial symptoms of entropion are often the following:
- Pain in the eye
- Excessive tearing
- Dry eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Reduced vision
- Discharge from the eye
- A feeling that there is something in the eye
Complications of Entropion
Over time, if the condition is not treated, the cornea may become damaged due to:
- Corneal ulcers
If you are experiencing light sensitivity, contact your physician immediately. Without treatment a decrease in vision can occur. Your doctor will be able to confirm the diagnosis of entropion upon an examination of the eyes.
Treatment of Entropion
While there are treatments for entropion, correction of the condition is completed with a brief surgical procedure in which the eyelids are repositioned. Temporary relief of the entropion condition can also be found by the following treatment methods:
- Skin tape to hold the eyelid in place
- Strategically placed stitches
- Lubricating eye drops
Surgical Correction of Entropion
The eyelid area is numbed with a local anesthetic and a light sedation may also be provided. For most entropions, the surgery involves tightening the eyelid at the lateral corner of the eyelid and rotational sutures to reposition the lower eyelid. When the entropion is caused by scars or prior surgery, the procedure typically relies on a graft to allow a repositioning of the eyelid. If desired, other cosmetic procedures can be performed at the same operative setting.
Patients need to apply ice compresses for 48-72 hours after the surgery. Post-operatively an antibiotic and steroid ointment will need to be applied. Symptoms of entropion usually resolve immediately. There may be some short-term bruising or swelling as a result of the procedure.