Entropion is a condition that commonly affects the lower eyelid, causing it to turn inwards, resulting in the eyelashes rubbing on the front of the eye.
Typical symptoms include discomfort, redness and sometimes a sticky eye. If left untreated, it can lead to corneal ulcers.
Entropion is the medical term used to describe rolling inward of the lower eyelid and eyelashes towards the eye. The skin of the eyelid and the eyelashes rub against the cornea (the front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that protects the eye). This rubbing can lead to excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, a feeling that something is in the eye, irritation of the cornea, and impaired vision.
Most cases of entropion are due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid because of ageing. Some cases result from scarring of the inner surface of the eyelid caused by chemical and thermal burns, inflammatory diseases such as ocular pemphigoid, or allergic reactions. Rarely entropion can be present at birth if the eyelids do not form properly.
Entropion should be repaired surgically before the rubbing damages the cornea by causing infection and scarring. Prior to surgery, taping the lower lid down and using lubricating drops and ointment can protect the eye. In some cases, sutures can be placed through the lower eyelid until more definitive surgery can be performed.
The surgery to repair entropion is usually performed in hospital under local anaesthesia as an outpatient. In most cases, the doctor will tighten the eyelid and its attachments. Following the surgery a patch is worn overnight used in conjunction with antibiotic ointment for about a week. After the eyelids have healed, the eye should feel comfortable and no longer have the risk of corneal scarring, infection, and loss of vision.
If you need any further advice, please contact Ian Cameron.