Click here to return to the LMHS Home Page

 

Print-Friendly
Bookmarks

Ectropion

 

Ectropion is the turning out of the eyelid so that the inner surface is exposed. It most often affects the lower eyelid.

Ectropion is very often caused by the aging process. The connective tissue of the eyelid becomes weaker, which causes the lid to turn out so that the edge of the lower lid is no longer against the eyeball. It can also be caused by:

  • A defect that occurs before birth (for example, in children with Down syndrome)
  • Facial palsy
  • Scar tissue from burns

Symptoms

 

Symptoms include:

  • Dry, painful eyes
  • Excess tearing of the eye (epiphora)
  • Eyelid turns outward
  • Long-term (chronic) conjunctivitis
  • Keratitis
  • Redness of the lid and white part of the eye

 

Exams and Tests

 

The health care provider will make a diagnosis by doing an exam of the eyes and eyelids. Special tests are not needed most of the time.

 

Treatment

 

Artificial tears (a lubricant) may ease dryness and keep the cornea moist. Surgery to tighten the muscles that hold the eyelids in place is very often effective. It may be done as outpatient surgery using medicine to numb the area (local anesthesia).

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

The outcome very often good with treatment.

 

Possible Complications

 

Corneal dryness and irritation may lead to:

  • Corneal abrasions
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye infections

Corneal ulcers can threaten vision.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of ectropion.

If you have ectropion, get emergency medical help if you have:

  • Vision that is getting worse
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness that is getting worse quickly

 

Prevention

 

Most cases are cannot be prevented. Using artificial tears or lubricating ointments may prevent injury to the cornea.

 

 

References

Cahill KV, Doxanas MT. Eyelid abnormalities: ectropion, entropion, trichiasis. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology 2013. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:vol 5,chap 73.

Robinson FO, Richard J, Collin O. Ectropion. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2013:chap 12.7.

Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 431.

BACK TO TOPText only

 
  • Eye

    Eye

    illustration

    • Eye

      Eye

      illustration

    Self Care

     
       

      Review Date: 9/2/2014

      Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
      adam.com

       
       
       

       

       

      A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.