What is Entropion?

Entropion is a “turning in” of the eyelid and typically occurs on the lower eyelid, causing the skin and lashes to rub against the cornea. This condition is rare among children and young adults but can affect up to two percent of people over the age of 60. This eye condition is most often a result of aging as the eyelid muscles weaken, but may also occur due to a chemical injury, skin infections, scarring, complications from another surgery, or trauma. When the eyelid rolls inward, skin and eyelashes may cause significant damage or irritation to the eye.

Symptoms of Entropion

The most common corneal symptoms of entropion result from eyelashes rubbing against the surface area of the eye. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Eye irritation or pain
  • Eye redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Watery eyes (excessive tearing)
  • Sandy or gritting feeling in the eyes
  • Mucous discharge
  • Decreased vision

If you are experiencing symptoms where your eyes continuously feel gritty and the eyelashes appear to be turned inward towards the eye, it could be a sign of a corneal injury.  Artificial tears or eye-lubricating ointments may help aid these symptoms for the interim, however, if entropion is left untreated it can cause permanent damage to the eye and your vision. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Entropion vs Ectropion

In normal circumstances, the upper and lower eyelids work together to protect the eye from external damage; however, entropion and ectropion are two types of conditions that prevent the eyelids from closing properly and can lead to severe damage to the ocular surface.

  • Entropion can affect both the upper and lower eyelids and is when the eyelashes turn inwards towards may rub against the surface of the eye.
  • Ectopion occurs when the lower eyelid skin loosens and no longer hugs the lower surface of the eye. This can cause the conjunctiva and cornea to become exposed and highly irritated.

When you are seen by our board-certified oculofacial plastic surgeon, they can assess and determine the best course of treatment.

Entropion Surgery Procedure

As with most eye conditions, the exact treatment method is dependent on the specific needs of the patient and the cause of entropion:

  • Entropion due to muscle weakness: The surgery may involve the removal of a small section of the eyelid to tighten the muscles in the area.
  • Entropion due to scars or prior surgery: The procedure may rely on a skin graft to allow a repositioning of the eyelid.

Some mild to moderate cases of entropion can be temporarily treated with nonsurgical methods, such as lubricating eye drops, botox, eyelid tape, or sutures. By adding strategically placed sutures inside the eyelid, your ophthalmologist may be able to help support the eyelid enough that it does not rub against the eye.

Most instances of entropion, however, must eventually be treated through surgical methods in order to prevent vision loss and permanent damage to the eye. Entropion repair is an outpatient procedure that typically only requires local anesthesia and a mild sedative. Depending on the exact needs of the patient, entropion repair may involve the removal of a small section of the eyelid or a skin graft to help reposition the eyelid. If your surgeon believes the condition is impacting your vision, there is a chance the procedure can be submitted for insurance coverage.

Recovery Time

Requiring only local anesthesia and light sedation, entropion repair is a brief, 45-minute outpatient procedure. After surgery, your doctor may recommend that you wear a patch or bandage for 24 hours to protect your eye from outside irritants and to minimize bleeding. You will also receive specific eye drops and ointments to help fight infection and to aid in the eyelid’s recovery process.

You may also elect to take some pain relief medication, such as Tylenol, after the surgery to help relieve the symptoms of any soreness around the eye. Within one to two weeks, you should expect any bruising and swelling to resolve as your eye heals and there should not be any visible signs of scarring.

It’s the right time for clearer vision

If you are experiencing symptoms of entropion or another eyelid condition, please schedule a preliminary consultation. Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer all your questions about which procedure is best for you, and ensure you have the most comfortable experience possible. Make an appointment today at one of our seven convenient locations.

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