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What is an entropion?

An entropion is an in-turning of the eyelid margin towards the eyeball. This in effect causes an in-turning of the eyelashes causing them to touch the surface of the eye (cornea) resulting in erosions of the cornea surface. In severe cases, the skin of the eyelid also turns inwards and touches the cornea surface. An entropion can occur in the upper or the lower eyelid.

What are the symptoms?

Eyelid entropion commonly results in:

  • dry eye
  • eye irritation
  • tearing
  • eye discharge
  • red eye

In the worst case scenario, repeated erosions of the cornea surface can result in a cornea infection (cornea ulcer).

What are the causes?

There are different causes by which an entropion develops:

  • Involutional changes/ageing of the eyelid structures
  • Other causes are due to cicatricial (scarring) changes from inflammatory causes such as severe mebomian gland dysfunction, severe allergic reactions, trauma or chemical injury
  • Rarely congenital

The most common cause of entropion is that of involutional changes or ageing of the eyelid structures. Involutional changes tend to result when the lower eyelid muscles lose their original attachments and as tissue laxity increases.

Entropion of the eyelid can be surgically corrected with the appropriate surgical technique depending on the type of entropion. This can be carried out as a day surgery procedure.