Entropion is inversion of an eyelid. Ectropion is eversion of the lower eyelid.
Entropion (inversion of an eyelid) is caused by age-related tissue relaxation, postinfectious or posttraumatic changes, or 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 (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 Corneal Disorders: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca). Diagnosis is clinical. Symptomatic treatment can include tear supplements and, at night, ocular lubricants; definitive treatment is surgery.
Last full review/revision August 2012 by James Garrity, MD
Content last modified November 2012