Entropion: Types, Definition, Surgery & Treatment

Entropion is a medical condition affecting the eyelid, more specifically characterized by the inward turning of the eyelid margin towards the eye. This typically results in the eyelashes and skin rubbing against the eye surface, causing discomfort and potential damage. There are different types of entropion, each with varying causes, but all share similar symptoms and treatment methods. This article will delve into the various types of entropion, its causes, how it is diagnosed, and the surgical and non-surgical treatment options available.

What is Entropion?

Entropion is derived from the Greek word “entrope” which means to turn inward. The condition can affect one or both eyelids, and it is more common in older adults. It can also occur at birth and in rare cases, even in infants. The lower eyelid is most commonly affected by entropion due to its thinner skin compared to the upper eyelid.

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Types of Entropion

There are four main types of entropion, each with its own distinct cause. These types include:

  • Involutional entropion: This is the most common type and is caused by the natural aging process where the tissues around the eye weaken, causing the eyelid to droop.
  • Cicatricial entropion: This type is caused by scarring of the inner eyelid, pulling it inward towards the eye.
  • Spastic entropion: Occurs due to muscle spasms in the lower eyelid, causing it to turn inward.
  • Congenital entropion: A rare condition where infants are born with an inverted eyelid, which can be caused by a genetic condition or abnormal development of the muscles and tendons around the eye.
  • Trichiasis entropion: This type of entropion is not a true form of the condition. But rather a condition in its own right that results in a similar symptom of inward eyelashes. In trichiasis, the eyelid is not turned inward; instead, the eyelashes grow in the wrong direction. Towards and sometimes touching the eyeball, causing similar discomfort and potential damage to the eye.

Causes of Entropion

Apart from age and scarring, entropion can also be caused by various factors such as:

  • Eye infections causing inflammation and swelling
  • Trauma to the eye or eyelid
  • Eyelid surgery or cosmetic procedures
  • Chronic eye allergies
  • Neurological conditions affecting the facial nerves

Symptoms

The most common symptom of entropion is discomfort or a feeling that something is in the eye. Other signs and symptoms may include:

If left untreated, entropion can lead to more severe issues such as corneal abrasion, infection, or even vision loss. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.

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Diagnosis

Entropion usually diagnosed through a physical examination of the eye by an ophthalmologist. They may also perform additional tests such as:

  • Measuring the shape and size of the eyelid
  • Checking for any signs of scarring or other abnormalities
  • Assessing how well the eyelid closes over the eye

Treatment Options

The treatment for entropion depends on the type, severity, and underlying cause of the condition. Some common treatment options include:

  • Artificial tears: Lubricating eye drops or ointments can help relieve symptoms and protect the eye from further damage.
  • Botox injections: In cases of spastic entropion, Botox injections can help to relax the muscles around the eye and prevent the inward turning of the eyelid.
  • Surgery: In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. The type of surgery will depend on various factors, such as the cause and extent of the entropion. Some surgical options include tightening or repositioning the eyelid muscles to correct its position.
  • Eyelid tapes or weights: In some cases, eyelid tapes or weights may used to temporarily hold the eyelid in place and prevent it from turning inward.
  • Antibiotics: If an eye infection causing the inflammation and swelling that leads to entropion, antibiotics may prescribed to treat the underlying infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can entropion occur in both eyes?

Yes, it is possible to have entropion in both eyes, although it is more common to only have one affected eyelid.

Can using contact lenses cause entropion?

While prolonged use of contact lenses can irritate the eye and lead to inflammation. There is no direct link between contact lens use and developing entropion.

Is entropion reversible?

In some cases, especially in congenital entropion, the condition may resolve itself or improve without treatment. However, for most types of entropion, surgery usually required to correct the inverted eyelid.

Conclusion

Entropion is a common eye condition that can cause discomfort and potential damage if left untreated. While it is more common in older adults, it can occur at any age due to various factors. If you experience any symptoms of entropion, seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. With the right treatment, most cases of entropion can successfully managed, allowing you to live a comfortable life with healthy eyes.

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Disclaimer

This site provides educational information only. It is important not to depend on any content here in place of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Similarly, it should not replace professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any health concerns or questions, always seek guidance from a physician or another healthcare professional.