What is entropion?

Entropion is a condition where your eyelid turns in toward your eye. As a result, your eyelashes and skin rub against your eyeball, causing discomfort to your cornea (the front part of your eye).

Entropion usually appears on the lower eyelid. If untreated, it can damage the cornea and lead to vision loss.

Entropion is more common in people over 60 years of age.

Lower eyelid looseness (laxity) usually causes entropion. Scarring can also cause your lid to turn inward (cicatricle entropion). Entropion is common in adults over the age of 60 because their eyelid supports weaken with age, allowing their eyelid muscles to turn their eyelids in. Other causes of an in-turned eyelid include an eye injury,infection or previous eye surgery.

Entropion causes many unpleasant symptoms in your eye. When the condition develops, the symptoms may appear only occasionally.  Signs of entropion include:

  • Feeling like there is something in your eye
  • Red eyes
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Itching

The ophthalmologist diagnoses entropion by examining your eye. Usually, no additional tests are required.

It is important to treat entropion to avoid complications that can become permanent. Complications associated with an inward-facing eyelid include: 

  • Eye infections
  • Corneal epithelial abrasions
  • Loss of vision

Entropion is treated in a variety of ways—surgically and medically.

Lubricating your eye with ointment and artificial tears is important to provide moisture and relieve discomfort. This isn’t a long-term solution, though.

The use of tape can also be used to temporarily reposition the eyelid.

Surgery is usually performed to treat the inward turning of your eyelid and return it to a normal position. This surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia to numb the eyelid. Most people go home the same day after their surgery.

Alternatively, a small amount of a substance called botulinum toxin (Botox®) can be used to weaken the eyelid muscles that may be causing the eyelid to be inverted.

Surgical procedures for the treatment of entropion include:

  • Eyelid tightening: This procedure shortens your eyelid to tighten your lid.
  • Retractor reinsertion: This procedure is used to tighten your lid retractor (muscle that opens and closes your lid).

Most people who receive treatment for entropion before harming the eye have a good prognosis. Surgery usually solves the problem. People usually do not have discomfort after the operation. Entropion rarely returns after surgical treatment.

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