Entropion is a condition in which your lower eyelid turns inward, rubbing against your eye. It is usually caused by a spasm or weakening of the muscles surrounding the eyelid.
The constant rubbing of the eyelashes against the cornea and conjunctiva can lead to the following symptoms:
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a complete eye examination.
Entropion occurs most commonly as a result of ageing. With age, the tendons and muscles that hold your eyelid taut against your eye stretches out and your eyelid starts to turn in. Occasionally, entropion is due to scarring of the inner surface of the eyelid, caused by inflammation, chronic infections or trauma.
Longstanding, uncorrected entropion can lead to gradual scarring of the cornea, as well as increase the risk of infection of the cornea. It is thus important to have this condition repaired before these complications permanently damage the eye.
If entropion is present in an eye requiring cataract removal, it is advisable to correct the lid abnormality first, before cataract surgery.
Illustration: Lower lid entropion (lashes rubbing against the cornea)
Surgery is usually required to tighten the lower eyelid and its attachments which will restore some of its elasticity and to reposition it. If you need to delay surgery, tape or sutures can be used to temporarily reposition the eyelid and protect the eye. However, these measures do not result in permanent cure.
Entropion causes irritation which in severe cases may lead to permanent blurring of vision. It should be treated by ophthalmic surgeons who are trained to manage this condition.