Entropion: What Is It, And How Is It Treated?

Many different eyelid problems exist, from drooping eyelids to sagging lower lids. But, if you are eyelids, particularly the lower lid, curls inward, you may have entropion. It is a disorder of the eyelid that can cause discomfort, but can be cured with surgery. 

Symptoms of Entropion

Entropion is more likely to affect those over 40, so your risk increases as you age. You may notice a few of the common symptoms.

  • Eyelid curling inward
  • Eye inflammation
  • Excessive tears
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Lashes rubbing the cornea

Without treatment, the affected eye may become infected.

Causes of Entropion

Along with aging, other factors may cause entropion.

  • Chronic inflammation of the eye
  • Chronic eye allergy
  • Weakening of supportive eyelid muscles and tissues
  • Scar tissues near the eye

Getting immediate medical care for any eye infections can help reduce your risk of developing entropion. Without treatment of entropion symptoms, you may develop other eye problems, such as cornea damage due to dryness or from eyelids or lashes rubbing against the cornea.

Treatment of Entropion

Minor surgery is often required to correct the inward-turning eyelid. While awaiting surgery, your doctor may also give you other instructions to help ease inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms.

  • Warm compresses several times day
  • Antibiotics if an infection is present
  • Artificial tears to keep the eye moist
  • Wearing protective goggles or glasses to protect the eye

An ophthalmologist performs the corrective surgery, which is known as entropion repair, in a hospital or as an outpatient procedure. You will under local anesthesia.  The eye surgeon makes an incision in the eyelid to cut away a small amount of cartilage from connective tissue in the eye. This shortening of excess tissue not only relives the irritation and redness of entropion, it also improves the appearance of your eye.

You should expect to heal completely within two weeks, but there is the possibility of eye wound infection or other complications.

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Photosensitivity 

The symptoms of infection include increased pain and swelling at the surgical site, along with drainage, fever, headache or nausea. If you have any of these symptoms or any changes in vision following surgery, contact your eye doctor immediately. 

If you have symptoms of entropion, schedule an exam with your eye doctor. He or she can closely examine the eyelid and the surrounding tissue to determine if you have the condition and determine the best treatment. The doctor may use a small piece of adhesive tape to the affected lid to hold it in place temporarily and ease symptoms. Talk to your eye-doctor, such as Todd S. Kirk, MD, for more information.