• Due to a fire at the Penn Ave location, that office is temporarily closed. While it’s closed, we will be open in our Munhall office on Tues. 9am-7pm, Wed. 9am-4pm, and Thu. 8:30am-4pm in addition to our Mon. and Fri. regular hours.

  • Ectropion – turning out of the eyelid

    Ectropion is the turning out of the eyelid (usually the lower eyelid) so that the inner surface is exposed.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Ectropion is usually caused by the aging process and the weakening of the connective tissue of the eyelid, which causes the lid to turn out. It can also be caused by:

    • A defect that occurs before birth (for example, in children with Down syndrome)
    • Facial palsy
    • Scar tissue from burns

    Symptoms

    • Dry, painful eyes
    • Excess tearing of the eye (epiphora)
    • Eyelid turns outward
    • Long-term (chronic) conjunctivitis
    • Keratitis
    • Redness of the lid and white part of the eye

    Signs and tests

    A physical examination of the eyes and eyelids confirms the diagnosis. Special tests are usually not necessary.

    Treatment

    Artificial tears (a lubricant) may relieve dryness and keep the cornea lubricated. Surgery to tighten the muscles that hold the eyelids in place is usually effective. It may be performed as outpatient surgery with local anesthesia.

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outcome is expected to be good with treatment.

    Complications

    Corneal dryness and irritation may lead to:

    • Corneal abrasions
    • Corneal ulcers
    • Eye infections

    Corneal ulcers can threaten vision.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of ectropion.

    If you have ectropion, get medical attention if you experience the following emergency symptoms:

    • Decreasing vision
    • Pain
    • Light sensitivity
    • Rapidly increasing redness

    Prevention

    Most cases are not preventable. Using artificial tears or lubricating ointments may prevent corneal complications.

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