What Are Ectropion And Entropion?
Do you have difficulty closing your eyes tightly? Does one of your eyes never seem to seal when you blink or close it? Are your eyes often dry even though it feels like you have plenty of tears coming out of them?
You may have an eye condition that is preventing your eyelids from closing all the way. Because of this, your eye cannot keep itself lubricated, and you are most likely feeling eye irritation because of it.
Two eye conditions, ectropion, and entropion cause the eyelid not to close tightly. Keep reading to learn more about ectropion and entropion.
What Is Ectropion?
Ectropion is a condition of the eye that causes the lower eyelid to turn outwards. This eye condition is common in older adults and is usually a result of aging.
As you get older, your eyelids’ muscles begin to weaken, which can result in droopy eyelids. Common symptoms of ectropion include:
- Drooping eyelid
- Eyelid not in contact with your eyeball
- Dry eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light and wind
Healthy eyelids help to lubricate the eye when you blink, which helps keep your eyes clean. If your eyelid isn’t closing completely, then some of this moisture escapes.
As a result, dust, dirt, and other particles stick in your eye and cause irritation. Rubbing your eyes can further irritate them.
Ectropion may start with only a fraction of your eyelid sagging, and it may not be noticeable at all. But if it goes untreated, ectropion can become so severe that most of your eyelid is not touching your eye.
For mild cases, your eye doctor will prescribe artificial tears or lubricating eye drops. These remedies will help keep your eyes moist and less irritated.
For more advanced cases, your eye doctor may recommend eyelid surgery. Ectropion surgery will take place in your ophthalmologist’s office or a satellite location.
The goal of the procedure is to tighten the eyelid and return it to its normal position. If needed, the doctor will also open any closed tear ducts to help your eyes produce more tears.
What Is Entropion?
Entropion is the opposite of ectropion, where your eyelid and lashes turn inward toward your eye. Your eyelashes rub against your eye, causing irritation, discomfort, and excessive tearing.
Entropion usually affects the lower eyelid and may be a result of the muscles relaxing as you age. Eyelid burns or skin disease can also cause entropion.
Symptoms Of Entropion
- Eyelid curling in towards the eye
- Eye irritation or pain
- Redness Watering eyes
- A feeling of something in your eye
- Sensitivity to light and wind
- Crusty eyelids
Rubbing your eyes can aggravate them even more. But this may be hard to resist if they are watery and feeling irritated.
If left untreated, entropion can lead to infection, scarring of your eye, and even vision loss.
There are a couple of minimally invasive treatments for entropion. One is using skin tape to hold the eyelid in place. The other is Botox treatments to help turn the eyelid out.
Surgery is another option if your eyelid needs tightening to return it to its normal position. Returning the eyelid to its normal position will allow it to protect your eye from irritants.
After this outpatient procedure, your ophthalmologist will prescribe you an antibiotic ointment. You will also need to rest. That means no heavy lifting, bending, or strenuous activities for a week after your procedure.
Are you concerned about ectropion or entropion? Schedule an eye exam at Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT, today! We will diagnose your eye problems and give you a plan to treat them.