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Ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid

Ectropian and Entropian are disorders of the eyelids which may occur due to several reasons but the age-related tissue change is the commonest offending factor. Ectropian is defined as outward turning of lower eyelid and Entropian is inward turning of eyelid. Eyelids play an important role in protecting the eye from any kind of damage from dust or foreign bodies.

Ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid: Incidence, Age and Sex

These eyelid disorders are usually seen in older individuals especially above the age of 60 years. However, an individual may be affected at any age. It occurs with equal prevalence in both men and women.

Signs and symptoms of ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid: Diagnosis

The clinical features of Ectropian and Entropian differ from one another. Ectropian usually presents with excessive dryness of eye due to its over-exposure. Moreover, dryness of the eyes may get aggravated with inadequate blinking or failure of complete closure of the affected eye. On the other hand, an individual with Entropian may experience irritation and foreign body sensation due to the continuous brushing of lower eyelashes with eye. The affected eye may also exhibit redness and excessive watering.

The diagnosis can easily be established by an eye-specialist after detailed examination of eye. No tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis of Ectropian or Entropian.

Causes and prevention of ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid

The most common cause of Ectropian and Entropian is the lack of elasticity of tissue which usually occurs in old age. Other causes like prior infection of the eye or any history of trauma to the eyes may increase the chances of these eyelid disorders. Sometimes, facial nerve weakness may also result in ectropian.

Ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid: Complications

The significant and most serious complication of both ectropian and entropian is damage to the cornea which is the transparent covering of the eye. This may occur due to constant rubbing of eyelashes against cornea in case of entropian and constant exposure and dryness of eyes in case of ectropian. The corneal damage may range from simple scarring to superficial inflammation to serious corneal ulcer.

Ectropian/entropian of the lower eyelid: Treatment

Surgical intervention is the mainstay of treatment in both ectropian and entropian. The surgery will help tighten the tissue around the eyelid and thereby correct the deformity. Individual with ectropian may also need artificial tears or lubricants to keep the eye moist till the surgery is done to correct the problem.