Entropion is the inward turning of the eyelids. It causes the eyelashes to rub against the surface of the eye resulting in discomfort, red eyes and tearing.
This is often confused with other conditions that may cause the eyelashes to rub against the eye surface, such as inturned eyelashes (trichiasis), aberrant growth of eyelashes (distichiasis) and prominent roll of lower eyelid muscles that pushes the lashes against the eye surface (epiblepharon).Epiblepharon is commonly found in Asian children and may cause the child to tear or rub the eye frequently.
CAUSES OF ENTROPION
- Congenital or inborn
- Scarring due to prior eye infection like herpes or trachoma
- Chemical burns or previous surgeries
- Frequent uncontrolled blinking or squeezing of the eyelids (blepharospasm)
SYMPTOMS OF ENTROPION
- Eye irritation or pain
- Excessive tearing or discharge
- Eye redness
- Blurred vision
COMPLICATIONS OF ENTROPION
If untreated, the constant rubbing of the eyelash against the cornea surface may increase the risk of:
- Corneal abrasions
- Eye infection
- Corneal scar
- Impaired vision
DIAGNOSIS OF ENTROPION
Your eye doctor will assess the position of the eyelids and the various factors such as eyelid laxity, weakened muscle and scarring that may have contributed to the condition. Examination using the slit-lamp will also allow assessment of the eye surface for abrasions, scars or infections.
TREATMENT OF ENTROPION
If entropion is due to blepharospasm or frequent blinking if the eyes, botulinum toxin injection to relax the eyelid muscles may help. However, if entropion is due to laxity of the eyelid or ageing, surgical treatment is often required to correct it.
Lubricating eyedrops or eye ointment may provide temporary relief and are usually prescribed during the interim period to protect the cornea, while awaiting surgery.