Entropion is a common eye condition, especially in older people, as age tends to weaken the delicate muscles around the eyes. Entropion causes the lower eyelid to turn inwards. This causes the eyelashes to brush against the surface of the eye making it teary, sore and vulnerable to infection.
The most common symptom of entropion is an irritated uncomfortable eye. As the eyelashes brush against the surface of the eye, they can abrade the cornea (clear window at the front of the eye). This can eventually causes infection and scarring.
The most common cause of entropion is an age-related weakening of the muscles around the eyes, which can no longer support the eyelid in its normal position.
The condition can also be caused by:
- Injury or inflammation to the inside lining of the eyelid. This causes contraction of the lining of the eyelid, pulling it inwards.
In most cases, entropion can be relieved fairly simply. Surgery to tighten the skin and muscles that hold the lid in place is the most common and effective treatment. This is a minor operation, performed under local anaesthetic as day case surgery (meaning you'll be able to go home the same day), and usually takes about 40 minutes. The tightening procedure most often involves the use of small dissolvable sutures (stitches) at the outer corner of the eyelid and sometimes under the lashes of the lower eyelid.
Your eye will usually be padded for one day, and you will be given eye drops and ointment to take for 2 weeks following the operation. For more detailed information on recovery from surgery see Post-operative Eyelid Surgery Instructions.
In more complex cases, Mr Ismail will discuss the surgery with you in more detail according to the cause of the problem.