EntropinYour eyelids serve an important purpose to protect the surface of the eye. Normally, the upper and lower lids close over the eye, each time bathing the delicate ocular tissues in moisture. This helps to prevent eye dryness, irritation, and potential injury and infection. When your eyelid is not in its proper anatomical position, it cannot serve its protective and lubricating functions. Fortunately, there is treatment available for eyelid malposition such as entropion.

What is Entropion?

Entropion is a condition where your eyelid rolls inward toward the eyeball. The eyelid margin and eyelashes rub on your eye and cause a great deal of discomfort. Typically, this occurs on the lower eyelid, and it can affect just one or both eyes. Entropion can cause watering of the eye, blurring of vision, significant pain or sensation that something is in the eye. This should be corrected as soon as possible to avoid injury and potential infection of the eye.

What are Symptoms of Entropion?

Entropion can present with several symptoms, including:

  • Excessive tearing and watery eyes
  • Scratchiness, grittiness, burning sensation
  • Foreign body sensation, feeling like something is in your eye
  • Redness 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Light sensitivity
  • Mucus discharge

How is Entropion Diagnosed?

Entropion can easily be diagnosed at your regular routine eye exam. Specialized tests are not needed.

 Knowing the cause of the entropion is the first step toward determining a personalized treatment plan to correct the condition. A thorough history will be helpful, including reporting your symptoms, when they started and if the problem occurs intermittently or constantly. Make sure to provide your doctor with any history of prior head and facial trauma or surgeries. Your doctor will examine the outward appearance of your eyes and eyelids during this exam and may gently pull on your eyelid or ask you to blink to assess muscle tone. Your doctor will review the severity of the exam findings with you.

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What Causes Entropion?

Entropion is usually caused when the muscles and tendons around the eye become loose and stretched or pulled in a certain direction. The most common reasons are age-related changes, but other possible causes include:

  • Laxity of the muscles and tendons that hold the eyelid taught 
  • Chronic rubbing of the eye 
  • Chronic friction from long-term use of contact lenses
  • Benign or cancerous growths that distort the normal shape of the eyelid
  • Facial paralysis caused by stroke, tumors, or Bell’s palsy
  • Scars from burns or previous facial or eyelid surgeries
  • Prior eyelid surgeries, such as lower eyelid blepharoplasty
  • Direct trauma such as a car accident could cause damage to the eyelid
  • Genetic disorders, although this is fairly rare.

No matter the cause, entropion should be treated quickly to avoid scratching and injury to the ocular surface. If left untreated, infection, scarring and loss of vision are possible consequences.

How is Entropion Treated?

Entropion is very treatable, and there is no reason for you to continue suffering from its uncomfortable effects. 

Topical lubricating drops and ointments are typically the first lines of treatment to help relieve the discomfort entropion can cause. In some cases, topical antibiotic prescriptions may be sent to your pharmacy.

In most cases, when entropion is persistent and does not resolve, surgery can be performed to correct the malposition. The kind of surgery your doctor selects will depend on what is causing the entropion to occur. Because most cases are due to age-related laxity of the eyelid tendons and muscles, horizontal tightening of the eyelid should correct the issue

Entropion repair surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, so you will return home once the procedure is completed. Anesthesia involves a local injection to numb the area, and possibly light sedation. Thus, you should arrange a driver for the day of surgery.

Surgery to correct entropion is very successful in the vast majority of cases. Recovery from the procedure may require you to wear an eyepatch for a short time as well as continue using eye drops or antibiotic ointment. You may experience some bruising and swelling which will go away over time. Any sutures may be removed approximately one week later. As you heal, your eyelid will get back to its normal function and the tearing, discomfort, or other symptoms you experienced will go away.

Is Entropion Repair Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Surgical correction of eyelid malposition is generally performed as a functional (medically indicated) surgery. Therefore, most medical insurances should provide coverage for this procedure.

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When you visit with an ophthalmologist at our Ocala, Florida offices, your individual case will be discussed and assessed at length. We will then determine which vision correction procedure is best for you.



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