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Entropion

Eyelid - entropion; Eye pain - entropion; Tearing - entropion

 

Entropion is the turning in of an edge of an eyelid. This causes the lashes to rub against the eye. It most often is seen on the lower eyelid.

Causes

 

Entropion can be present at birth (congenital).

In babies, it rarely causes problems because the lashes are very soft and do not easily damage the eye. In older people, the condition is most often caused by a spasm or weakening of the muscles surrounding the lower part of the eye.

Another cause can be trachoma infection, which can lead to scarring of the inner side of the lid. This is rare in North America and Europe. However, trachoma scarring is one of the three leading causes of blindness in the world.

Risk factors for entropion are:

  • Aging
  • Chemical burn
  • Infection with trachoma

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms include:

  • Decreased vision if the cornea is damaged
  • Excessive tearing
  • Eye discomfort or pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Redness

 

Exams and Tests

 

In most cases, your health care provider can diagnose this condition by looking at your eyelids. Special tests are not often necessary.

 

Treatment

 

Artificial tears can keep the eye from becoming dry and may help you feel better. Surgery to correct the position of the eyelids works well in most cases.

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

The outlook is most often good if the condition is treated before eye damage occurs.

 

Possible Complications

 

Dry eye and irritation may increase the risk for:

  • Corneal abrasions
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye infections

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your provider if:

  • Your eyelids turn inward.
  • You constantly feel as though there is something in your eye.

If you have entropion, the following should be considered an emergency:

  • Decreasing vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pain
  • Eye redness that increases rapidly

 

Prevention

 

Most cases cannot be prevented. Treatment reduces the risk of complications.

See your provider if you have red eyes after visiting an area where there is trachoma (such as North Africa or South Asia).

 

 

References

Gigantelli JW. Entropion. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 12.6.

Yanoff M, Cameron JD. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 423.

 
  • Eye

    Eye - illustration

    The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

    Eye

    illustration

    • Eye

      Eye - illustration

      The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle tunic layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

      Eye

      illustration

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      Review Date: 12/10/2016

      Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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