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Entropion and Ectropion

Entropion (IN-turning) is the rolling inward of the lower eyelid and eyelashes
toward the eye. In this situation, the eyelid skin and eyelashes rub against the cornea (front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (mucous membrane that protects the eye). This rubbing causes tearing, crusting, mucous discharge, irritation, and ultimately affects the vision. Most cases of entropion are a result of aging, which may lead to the tissues of the eye relaxing. Other cases develop from scarring of the inner surface of the eyelid caused by burns, inflammatory diseases, or allergic reactions. In rare instances, entropion can appear at birth if the eyelids are not formed correctly. Entropion should be repaired surgically before the rubbing causes infection or scarring of the cornea. The surgery to repair entropion is typically performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. There is typically no patch needed. You will apply an antibiotic ointment for about a week following surgery. The result from surgery should leave your eye feeling comfortable and the risk of corneal damage and vision loss, can be avoided.



Ectropion (OUT-turning) is the sagging and outward turning of the lower eyelid and eyelashes. During a normal blink, your eyelids sweep across the exterior of the cornea. This removes debri and also is critical in spreading the normal tears over the eye and cornea, keeping it lubricated. When the lower lid is turned outward with "ectropion", the cornea gathers irritants, and is not correctly cleaned and wiped with each blink. Eventually, the tears that are produced overflow the lid and run down the cheek, causing patients to complain of tearing and irritation. Dr. Perlman explains that the eye is producing the correct amount of tears, but the normal drainage pattern is disturbed, so that the tears are not pumped into the normal drainage canals and into the nose as usual. Thus, the "tearing" occurs in addition to mucous buildup and possible infection. The most common cause of ectropion (similar to entropion) is simply that the tissues around the lids become loose and lax with aging, and this allows the lid to turn in or out.

During ectropion surgery, local anesthesia is typically used, and the procedure takes approximately 15–30 minutes.  Typically there is no patching and apply an antibiotic ointment  is applied for about a week following surgery.

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