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What is an entropion?
Entropion is the medical term used to describe rolling inward of the lower eyelid and eyelashes towards the eyeball. The skin of the eyelid and the eyelashes rub against the cornea (the front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that protects the eye). This rubbing can lead to excessive watering, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, a foreign body in the eye sensation, irritation of the cornea and impaired vision.
What are the causes for this condition?
Most cases of entropion are due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid as a result of ageing. Some cases result from scarring of the inner surface of the eyelid caused by chemical and thermal burns, inflammatory diseases such as ocular cicatricial pemphigoid or allergic reactions.
How is this condition managed?
Entropion should be repaired surgically before the rubbing damages the cornea by causing infection and scarring. Prior to surgery the eye can be protected by taping the lower lid down and using lubricating drops and ointment. The surgery to repair entropion is usually performed under local anaesthesia with or without sedation as a day case. In most cases your doctor will tighten the eyelid. You may have a patch overnight and then will commonly use an antibiotic drop or ointment for about 2 weeks. After your eyelids heal your eye will feel comfortable, reducing the risk of infection and loss of vision. You will have stitches that might have to be removed.
Are there any risks or side effects?
· There may be bruising around the eye.
· There is a small risk of infection of the lid or eye.
· There is a possibility of recurrence or over correction of the eyelid which may require a further operation.
· You may end up with a scar.
· There is a risk of asymmetry.
What are the benefits?
· Relief of symptoms.
· Reduced risk of eye infection.
· Restoration of the normal appearance of the eyelid.