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Entropion

Entropion

An entropion occurs when eyelid turns inwards towards the eye. This causes the eyelashes to rub against the front of the eye (cornea). Lower eyelid is most commonly affected.

Symptoms

Irritation and pain

Watering

If left untreated it may damage cornea (corneal ulcer might develop)

Causes

Entropion mainly occurs in older people, associated with weakness of the small muscles around the eyelid.

The main cause worldwide is due to trachoma. This is a common infection in tropical countries, which affects the front of the eye. This can lead to scarring and disruption to the eyelid, which makes it turn inwards.

Less common causes include other eye infections or damage. Rarely, people can be born with a defect that causes the eyelid to turn inward.

Treatment

If the cause is likely to be temporary, such as an infection or minor injury, the following may be enough until the condition recovers:

  • Taping the eyelid to the cheek; or
  • Injecting the muscles of the eyelid with botulinum toxin.

Lubricating eye ointment is often prescribed in the meantime to protect the front of the eye (cornea).

If you have a condition which is unlikely to recover by itself, you will be offered surgery. A small operation is performed to turn the eyelid back to its normal position. This stops the eyelashes from rubbing on the eye. The operation is usually successful and prevents any further damage to the front of the eye.