What is entropion?
Entropion is defined as a medical condition within the eye that occurs when the eyelid folds inwards. In most cases, entropion occurs on the lower eyelid, but cases of entropion of the upper eyelid can still occur. Entropion can be a constant inversion of the eyelid, or an occasional problem that occurs only when a patient blinks hard or squeezes their eyelids shut with force. Entropion can affect either one eye, or both, known as bilateral entropion.
What causes entropion?
In most cases, entropion is caused by a hereditary condition, or a genetic trait that runs through families. However, there are rare cases where a patient's lower eyelid will in fact have an extra fold of skin, causing entropion of the lower eyelids. Other causes of entropion include aging which causes the skin to sag over time, scarring of the eyelids due to trauma or surgery, and even an infection known as trachoma.
Symptoms of entropion include:
- The constant feeling of an object between the lid of your eye and the eye itself
- Excessive tear production
- Crust along the eyelids
- Mucus discharge from the eyes
- Pain within the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to wind
- Sagging of the skin around the eyes
- Red inflammation at the whites of the eyes
- Corneal ulcer
- Loss of vision
How is entropion diagnosed?
Entropion can be diagnosed by your ophthalmologist with a state-of-the-art optical examination, which will involve digital imaging and a physical examination of the eyelids to test for function as well as disease and infection.
What are the treatment options for entropion?
Mild cases of entropion can be treated with specialized prescription eye drops designed to soothe the symptoms of irritation and sensitivity. Transparent skin tape can be applied to the eyelid in order to halt inversion from occurring. Specialized stitches, at maximum a total of three, can be used to temporarily keep the eyelid in a normal position. Botox can also be injected into the lower eyelid as a temporary solution which will require re-treatment every six months. For severe cases, surgery is the only permanent option to treat entropion.
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