Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid turns inward, resulting in the eyelashes touching the surface of the eye causing discomfort.
Both eyelids may be affected, although the condition more commonly affects the lower lids.
If left untreated, entropion can lead to sensitivity to light and wind, scratches and infections of the surface of the eye which may be sight threatening. If entropion is present, it is important to have the condition treated before permanent damage occurs to the eye.
Entropion most commonly occurs due to changes in muscles and other tissues as a result of ageing. Occasionally scarring of the inner lining of the eyelid due to infections, injury or inflammation can also cause the lid to turn in.
How can entropion be treated?
Temporary relief of entropion can be achieved by using artificial tears and ointments to help lubricate the eye, In addition to taping the eyelid or having a Botox injection to weaken the muscle that causes the lid to turn in. This usually happens before a small operation can be performed.
How do I tape the eyelid?
Ensure that the skin around the eye is clean and dry (Fig 1). Apply a strip of special tape (bought from a chemist e.g. Blenderm) from below the edge of the eyelid towards the cheek.
The tape holds the lid in its normal position (Fig 2).
It may be necessary to change the tape each day, but must be left undisturbed once in place. It is important that once the tape is in place, you are able to close the eye without squeezing to prevent the eye from becoming dry.
The aim of surgical correction is to restore the anatomy, by addressing the various causative factors. Depending upon the cause of entropion, surgery can range from a simple 30-minute procedure to a more complicated 90-minute procedure.
What are the potential risks & complication of Entropion surgical correction?
Minor bruising or swelling, which settles in 1-3 weeks, can be expected. Bleeding and infection, which are potential risks with any surgery, are very uncommon. Rarely the entropion can recur or the lid may want to roll away from the eyeball (ectropion).