What is an Entropion?
Entropion is the medical term used to describe rolling inward of the lower eyelid and eyelashes towards the eyeball. 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 foreign body in the eye feeling, irritation of the cornea, and impaired vision.
What are the causes for this condition?
Most cases of entropion are due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid as a result 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.
How is this condition managed?
Entropion should be repaired surgically before the rubbing damages the cornea by causing infection and scarring. Prior to surgery, the eye can be protected by taping the lower lid down and using lubricating drops and ointment. 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 under local anaesthesia as an outpatient. In most cases, your doctor will tighten the eyelid and its attachments. You may have a patch overnight and then will commonly use an antibiotic drop or ointment for about a week. After your eyelids heal, your eye will feel comfortable and you will no longer have the risk of corneal scarring, infection, and loss of vision.
Are there any risks or side effects?
- There may be bruising around the eye.
- There is a small risk of infection of the lid or eye.
- There is a possibility of recurrence or over correction of the eyelid, which may require further operation.
- You may have an allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic injection or the antibiotic ointment drops.
What are the benefits?
- Relief of symptoms.
- Reduction of risk of eye infection.
- Restoration of the normal appearance of the eyelid.