Entropion and ectropion are two conditions that affect the positioning of your eyelids. Although they may not be as well-known, they can still significantly affect your eye health and vision quality.
Entropion is a condition where your eyelid folds inward. When this happens, your eyelashes and skin rub against the eye surface (cornea), causing discomfort, irritation, and potentially serious eye complications.
This condition can occur as a result of aging when the muscles and tissue around your eye weaken. However, it's not limited to older adults; certain breeds of dogs are also prone to this condition. In severe cases or if left untreated, entropion can lead to infections, corneal ulcers, and even vision loss.
On the other hand, ectropion is a condition where your eyelid turns outward. This leaves the inner eyelid surface exposed and prone to irritation. Unlike entropion, where the eyelid turns inward, ectropion is characterized by the eyelid folding outward, away from the eye.
Just like entropion, ectropion often occurs due to age-related weakening of the connective tissue of the eyelid. It can also result from facial nerve paralysis, trauma, or previous surgeries. Ectropion can lead to excessive dryness, tearing, and serious eye infections if not treated promptly.
Both conditions can lead to severe eye irritation due to the friction between the eyelid (and lashes in the case of entropion) and the surface of the eye. This can result in corneal abrasions, ulcers, or a condition known as keratitis, all of which can potentially impair vision.
In the case of entropion, the inward turning of the eyelid causes the lashes and skin to rub against the cornea, leading to a corneal abrasion. Over time, these constant abrasions can cause scarring, infection, and vision impairment.
Similarly, in ectropion, the outward turning of the eyelid exposes the inner eyelid and the cornea, making them susceptible to dryness and irritation. This dryness can lead to damage to the cornea, leading to vision problems. If left untreated, ectropion can result in long-term
Diagnosis of both entropion and ectropion primarily involves a comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist. The doctor will review your symptoms and medical history and perform a detailed examination of your eyelids and eyes, including a visual acuity test.
The treatment for entropion and ectropion largely depends on the severity of the condition and the associated symptoms. In mild cases, artificial tears and lubricating ointments may be recommended to help keep the eye moist and relieve symptoms.
However, in most cases, surgery is necessary to fully correct the condition. The surgery involves repositioning the eyelid to its normal position to prevent it from rubbing against the cornea or exposing the inner lining of the eyelid. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and has a high success rate.
While entropion and ectropion may not be as common or well-known as other eye conditions, they can significantly impact your vision and overall eye health. Early detection, understanding the potential complications, and seeking prompt treatment can help manage these conditions effectively and preserve your vision.
If you suspect you may have entropion or ectropion, contact Fier Eye Care & Surgery Center offices in Port St. Lucie or Stuart, Florida. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide the best course of treatment based on your needs. Call 772-400-2400 or 772-286-0007 to schedule an appointment today.