Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid turns inward, resulting in the eyelashes directed towards the surface of the eye causing discomfort. If left untreated, it can cause excessive watering, crusting of the lid margin, discharge, irritation and infections. Serious inflammation of the surface of the eye could cause permanent damage and impair sight.
Both eyelids can be affected, although the condition more commonly affects the lower lids.
Why do the eyelids turn inwards?
Entropion most commonly occurs due to changes in muscles and other tissues as a result of ageing. Occasionally, scarring of the inner lining of the eyelid due to infections, injury or inflammation can also cause the lid to turn in.
How will I know if I have an Entropion?
When the lid turns inward, the skin and lashes rub on the surface of the eye. You may have a feeling of pain, that something is in the eye, notice excessive watering, crusting of the eyelid or discharge, sensitivity to light, changes to your vision or directly see that the lashes themselves are pointing in the wrong direction.
Common questions about Entropion
Entropion can be diagnosed by a routine eye examination. Special tests are not usually necessary.
If left untreated, entropion can lead to sensitivity to light and wind, scratches and infections of the surface of the eye which could be sight threatening. If entropion is present, it is important to have the condition treated before permanent damage occurs to the eye.
Temporary relief of entropion can be achieved by taping the eyelid or by having an injection to weaken the muscle that causes the lid to turn in. This may be undertaken before an operation is performed.
Ensure that the skin around the eye is clean and dry. Apply a strip of special tape (bought from a chemist e.g. Blenderm/Micropore) from below the edge of the eyelid towards the cheek. The tape holds the lid in its normal position. It might be necessary to change the tape each day, but must be left undisturbed once in place. It is important that once the tape is in place, you are able to close the eye without squeezing to prevent the eye from becoming dry.