What is ectropion?
Ectropion is defined as an eyelid abnormality that occurs from an eversion, or the outward turning of the eyelid away from the surface of the eye. This problem usually occurs in the lower lid of the eyes.
What causes ectropion?
In rare cases, ectropion can be caused by a genetically inherited condition, including blepharophimosis syndrome, microphthalmos, buphthalmos, orbital cysts, Down's syndrome, and ichthyosis in infants. Congenital ectropion can also occur on occasion due to cases of paralysis. Physical trauma and burns, and even complications from previous surgery can cause ectropion. However, the majority of ectropion cases in patients are caused by the consequences of aging, which gradually weaken the muscles and ligaments around the eyelid that work to connect the eyelid to the skull. When this system loses its strength and elasticity, eyelids can drop away from the orbital region.
Symptoms of ectropion include:
- Corneal exposure
- Irritated eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Tearing of the eyelids
- Vision loss
- Keratinization with the palpebral of the conjunctiva or the membrane over the whites of the eyes
How is ectropion diagnosed?
Ectropion is diagnosed with a state-of-the-art eye examination by your ophthalmologist to determine the exact cause for your case of eyelid eversion for immediate treatment. Digital imaging technology is often used to ensure the ailment is only of the eyelids and not a symptom of an illness of the eyes themselves.
What are the treatment options available of ectropion?
In cases of horizontal lid laxity, a lateral tarsal strip procedure can be used to correct eyelid inversion. For cases ranging from only mild to moderate ectropion, medial conjunctival spindle procedures can effectively correct the problem. A corneal protector is used during these oculoplastic procedures to insure the patient is both safe and comfortable throughout their treatment.
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