When Eyelids Turn the Wrong Way

For various reasons, sometimes a person’s eyelid can turn the wrong way. In some cases the eyelid “turns in”. In others it “turns outward.” These conditions can lead to pain, irritation, and problems with tear drainage. Our team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group can correct both of these eyelid conditions with surgery.

Entropion

Entropion is the term for when the eyelid “turns in.” This usually occurs on the lower eyelid. The lid may be turned inward at all times, or only when the eyelids are closed tightly. Either way, when this happens the skin and lashes rub on the cornea, which can be very painful. It can also make the eye sensitive to light and wind.

Causes of entropion

In most patients, entropion is simply a result of aging, as the muscles around the eyes can weaken. A spasm or simple relaxing of the muscles near the eye can cause the lower eyelid to turn inward. Other causes can be injury to the lid, a congenital defect, skin infections or certain inflammations. People who have had facial surgery, particularly in the mid-face, are more prone to entropion.

Fixing entropion

There are non-surgical options to remedy entropion such as lubricating eyedrops, Botox injections, even strategically placed stitches. But usually entropion needs to be corrected with outpatient surgery by one of our Central Valley Eye Medical Group surgeons. They perform surgery to reposition the lid or lids with the condition.

The area is numbed with local anesthetic, sometimes with light sedation depending on the patient. If the entropion is due to muscle weakness, we may remove a small section of the eyelid to tighten the muscles in the area. If entropion is due to scars from injury or a prior surgery, it’s likely we will utilize a skin graft in order to reposition the eyelid.

Ectropion

In contrast to entropion, ectropion is a “turning out” of the eyelid. Again, this typically occurs on the lower eyelid. The sagging skin of the inner eyelid is exposed, either in one part of the lid or across the entire lid. When ectropion happens this prevents tears from draining correctly out of the eye, leading to chronic tearing, redness, pain, a gritty feeling, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, even a breakdown of the cornea.

Causes

Like entropion, ectropion is usually a result of the muscle weakness that comes with age. But ectropion can also result from nerve damage, sun damage, tumors, burns, or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) where too much skin was removed. The condition can also be congenital.

Fixing ectropion

Artificial tears can provide temporary relief from the dryness that accompanies ectropion, but surgery is usually necessary to fix the condition. The surgical options/methods are similar to those for entropion. If muscle weakness is the cause, a small portion of the eyelid may be removed and the muscles tightened. If too much skin was removed during blepharoplasty, a skin graft will be necessary.

Correcting entropion or ectropion involves relatively straightforward surgery, but these aren’t procedures to trust to cosmetic surgeons. Our surgical team at Central Valley Eye Medicals is highly trained with eye surgery and they can correct these eyelid problems. If you have problems with an eyelid that is turning the wrong way, please call us at (800) 244-9907 to schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Eye Conditions

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Dear Friends,

We at Central Valley Eye hope you and your families are well. During these uncertain times, we are taking all necessary precautions to keep patients and staff healthy as COVID-19 infections continue to rise. We are following CDC and American Academy of Ophthalmology guidelines, including extra diligent cleaning, and disinfecting around the office. Our waiting rooms have been reconfigured to allow more distance between chairs, and we are turning away all non-urgent patients who are symptomatic with cough or fever.

In keeping with government and institutional guidelines, as well as to promote the practice of "staying at home," we are implementing new restrictions. Starting March 20th, we will be limiting our clinic only to patients with eye conditions that could permanently threaten vision if not addressed within two months. This means that many appointments will need to be rescheduled. Additionally, some of our office locations may be closed on certain days, as patient volumes are expected to decrease significantly. If you are unsure whether to come in for your visit, please call us.

The clinic is also establishing a telemedicine service to address eye problems that are less urgent, which can be managed over the phone by a physician.

The doctors at Central Valley Eye will not be performing any non-urgent surgeries until further notice. Our surgery coordinators will be contacting patients to reschedule the surgeries that need to be postponed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 209-952-3700.

Warmest regards,

Brandy Simpson
Practice Manager
Central Valley Eye Medical Group, Inc.

  |  

  |