Understanding the Complications from Eyelids Turning In and Out

Ectropion Treatment LAYour eyelids play a major role in protecting your eyes and your eyesight. Most people don’t even pay attention to their eyelids until one no longer functions correctly and puts your eyes at risk. Conditions such as ectropion or entropion, which cause the eyelids to excessively pull away or turn in toward the eye can affect children and adults, and it is important to have the complaints addressed as soon as possible to prevent them from causing serious harm.

If you have noticed that your eyes or a loved one’s eyes are being affected by the eyelids turning in or out, do not wait to schedule a consultation with the board-certified oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Taban in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Malfunctioning eyelids are more than uncomfortable, they may lead actually lead to blindness if ignored.

What is Eyelid Ectropion?

When a lower eyelid rolls or sags away from the eye it is a condition known as eyelid ectropion. This condition can cause the eye to become dry or irritated as it is often too difficult to properly blink and keep the eye shielded and lubricated. If not properly treated, the condition can lead to the following complications:

  • Redness
  • Gritty sensation
  • Chronic tearing
  • Pain
  • Crustiness
  • Mucous discharge
  • Damage to the cornea
  • Blurred vision

In many cases, ectropion occurs as a result of aging when the muscles and tissue of the lower eyelid become weak or stretched. Other causes include injury, facial paralysis, such as Bell’s palsy, scarring from a previous surgery (post-blepharoplasty ectropion) or injury, and even skin cancer surgery.

What is Eyelid Entropion?

When an eyelid turns in toward the eye, potentially causing the eyelashes to touch or scrape the eye. The condition is often caused by the aging process in which the eyelid muscles become too weak to properly support the lid. It can also be caused by injury, scarring, or damage from a previous surgery. As the eyelid rubs against the delicate tissue of the eyeball, it can lead to the following complications:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Eye infections
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Mucous discharge
  • Blurred vision

The painful symptoms of entropion can worsen quickly if left untreated. It is important to seek medical attention before the condition causes permanent damage.

Repairing Malpositioned Upper or Lower Eyelids

There are several treatments available to correct excessive turn out or turn in of the lids. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be possible to repair the malpositioned lid with non-surgical options, however, the most common and effective option for treating ectropion and entropion is through surgery (eyelid ectropion surgery repair, eyelid entropion surgery repair). This simple operation typically involves tightening the eyelid horizontally along with other sutures to either role in or role out the eyelid, if necessary. The procedures can be combined with blepharoplasty, which involves removing excess skin and/or fat for better cosmetic outcome. Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper and/or lower eyelids, but it is important to be conservative and use minimal invasive technique to provide quicker recovery and natural results.

Non-surgical techniques may be used to temporarily correct turn out or turn in. Botox injections and eyelid taping can help hold the eyelid at a normal position, thereby relieving pain and preventing injury. Botox can be highly effective because it can be used to relax specific muscles around the eye and prevent movement.

Another less invasive procedure that is ideal for patients who may not be eligiblefor surgery is a procedure called Quickert to correct entropion. This procedure involves only two to three strategically placed sutures that evert the eyelid and prevent the lashes from scraping the eye.

Recovering from Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery

The surgical procedures for repairing ectropion or entropion are usually performed in-office under local anesthesia. Patients are awake during the procedure in order to help repair the condition and ensure the lid is repositioned at a comfortable and natural-looking level. Recovering from such a minimal procedure typically takes no more than a week or two as any bruising or swelling of the lid dissipates. Patients can often return to everyday activities comfortably by the second week.

Schedule a Eyelid Corrective Surgery Today!

If you or a loved one is suffering from ectropion or entropion, please schedule a consultation with the Beverly Hills oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban. We also have an office located in Santa Barbara in the greater Los Angeles area. Call (310) 499-2565 or make an appointment online.

Next, read Finding a Solution to Your Dry Eyes