Dealing with Ectropion

Ectropion Repair In another blog post, entropion was discussed, an eye condition where the lid involuntarily turns inward. The opposite is ectropion when the eyelid involuntarily turns outward. When a person has ectropion, the condition prevents tears from draining from the eye correctly, resulting in irritation.

Causes of ectropion

The normal process of aging is the usual cause of ectropion. This can develop as the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue around the eyes become weaker. If a person has had prior trauma to the face or eyes, there is a greater likelihood of developing ectropion.

Other causes of ectropion:

  • Facial paralysis due to Bell’s palsy or a tumor
  • Eyelid Growths
  • Previous eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)
  • Facial scarring from burns or trauma
  • Radiation to the eyelid for a cancerous growth
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Cosmetic laser/skin resurfacing
  • Certain prescription eyedrops

Symptoms of ectropion

The main issue with ectropion is the lack of tear drainage into the small openings on the inner part of the eyelid. Without proper drainage, several symptoms can develop:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Pain
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inflammation
  • Eyes that feel gritty or dry

Beyond these symptoms, patients can have these more serious complications: corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers, and eye infections.

Treating ectropion

There are temporary treatments, which are simply to relieve pain or irritation. But to correct ectropion, Dr. Shams performs a brief surgical procedure where the eyelids are repositioned. In typical cases where ectropion has developed due to muscle weakness or scars from a previous surgery, Dr. Shams is able to reposition the eyelid using some of the following techniques:

  • Tightening the eyelid from the outer corner
  • Stretching of any scar tissue
  • Removal of a small section of the eyelid
  • Skin graft to reposition the eyelid.

After surgery, Dr. Shams places a pressure eye patch for 24 hours. There may be some bruising and swelling, but they resolve very quickly.

If you think you may have ectropion, Dr. Shams can help. Call her at 07488 909 008 to arrange a consultation.


Posted in: Entropion Repair

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My NHS practice is based at the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. I consult private patients at Moorfields Private Eye Hospital, Weymouth Street Hospital, Phoenix Hospital Group Outpatient Centre and The Harley Street Clinic.

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