What is ectropion?

Ectropion occurs when eyelid, usually lower lid turns outward and does not normally oppose the eye globe.  This may result in discomfort, unsightly appearance, tearing but more importantly may lead to excessive eye drying out and result in corneal damage.

What causes ectropion?

Ectropion most commonly caused by age related degenerative changes in eyelid, when eyelid tissue loses elasticity and stretches out.  However ectropion may be also caused by lack of nerve supply to the eyelid muscles (such as in patient with history of stroke), eyelid scar/mass or skin cancer.

How is ectropion treated?

Treatment of ectropion is usually surgical.  Procedure is done on an outpatient basis and exact procedure depends on severity and the underlying cause. Usually the tendon and the muscle are tighten causing the lid to lay properly on the eye.

In mild ectropion using artificial tears or gel to lubricate the eye may help symptoms and improve corneal health.  Particularly it is important to use gel or thicker eye drops at bed time.  Importantly excessive eyelid rubbing may contribute to ectropion development.  This one must wipe eyes carefully up and towards the nose and avoid rubbing the eyes.