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Entropion and Ectropion

by James Garrity, MD

Entropion is inversion of an eyelid. Ectropion is eversion of the lower eyelid.

Entropion

Entropion (inversion of an eyelid) is caused by age-related tissue relaxation, postinfectious or posttraumatic changes, or blepharospasm (see Blepharospasm). Eyelashes rub against the eyeball and may lead to corneal ulceration and scarring. Symptoms can include foreign body sensation, tearing, and red eye. Diagnosis is clinical. Definitive treatment is surgery.

Ectropion

Ectropion (eversion of the lower eyelid) is caused by age-related tissue relaxation, cranial nerve VII palsy, and posttraumatic or postsurgical changes. Symptoms are tearing (due to poor drainage of tears through the nasolacrimal system, which may no longer contact the eyeball) and symptoms of dry eyes (see Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca). Diagnosis is clinical. Symptomatic treatment can include tear supplements and, at night, ocular lubricants; definitive treatment is surgery.

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