Ectropion is a condition that occurs when all or part of the eyelid turns out away from the eye. Typically ectropion is seen in the lower eyelid, but it can also occur in the upper. Ectropion is more common in older adults.
If you think you might have ectropion or any other eyelid malposition, contact the eyelid specialists at the Eyelid Surgery Center of Excellence. You can reach us at (888) 384-0981 or fill out our online form.
Common Symptoms of Ectropion
When the eyelid turns out away from the eye, it can create a number of problems for the patient. The most common are:
- Sore inner eye lining
- Redness of the inner eye lining
- Excessive tearing
- Excessive dryness
- Chronic conjunctivitis
Common Causes of Ectropion
There are a variety of causes for ectropion. One of the most common is muscle weakness from age. As we get older the muscles and tendons under our eyes tend to weaken and stretch. When this happens the eyelid no longer stays taut against the eye and can begin to droop.
Other common causes of ectropion include facial paralysis, scarred or burned skin, benign or cancerous eyelid growths, reactions to certain drugs, and reactions to previous surgeries or cosmetic procedures. The best way to determine the exact cause of ectropion is to see an eyelid specialist.
How to Treat Ectropion
In some cases, eye drops and other ointments may be used to improve the symptoms of ectropion. But the best option for recovery is usually surgery. Several different types of surgeries exist to treat ectropion. If the condition is caused by muscle weakness, your surgeon will most likely remove a small piece of your eyelid. This works to tighten the muscle and tendons and bring the eyelid back into proper contact with the eye. Ultimately, your doctor will tell you which surgery is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the risks of not treating ectropion?
A: The most serious dangers of living with untreated ectropion are irritation and damage to your cornea. The cornea is the clear part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. In some cases ectropion can cause corneal abrasion and ulcers, which may result in permanent vision loss.
Q: How soon will I get relief from my symptoms after surgery?
A: For most patients, the symptoms resolve almost immediately. However, as is the case with any surgery, there may be some discomfort for a few days.
Q: What can I do today to relieve my ectropion symptoms?
A: The most important thing you can do is schedule a consultation with an eyelid specialist. However, you can do a number of things to reduce discomfort and the potential danger to your eye before your appointment. Using eye drops is a great way to keep your cornea lubricated. This will relieve the excessive dryness and discomfort. You may also want to use skin tape to temporarily tighten the eyelids. You should also exercise caution when wiping watery eyes, because too much pressure on the eyelids can cause further weakening of the muscles.
Q: Is the ectropion repair surgery safe?
A: The surgery itself is safe and common. It is important, however, that you have the procedure done by a specialist with experience performing eyelid surgery procedures. Patients feel no pain during surgery, although some experience a slight discomfort in the days following surgery as the eyelid heals. Overall, the pain associated with surgery is significantly less than the everyday pain of living with the condition.
Schedule a Consultation with an Eyelid Surgeon
Are you suffering from a painful eyelid malposition? Our world-renowned eyelid surgeons at the Eyelid Surgery Center of Excellence have the skills and experience to help you. Don’t wait any longer. Contact us at (888) 384-0981.
Next, read about eyelid cancer.