Monday, July 19, 2010
Ectropion is an outward turning of the lower eyelid, most commonly caused by aging, although eyelid burns or skin disease may also be responsible.
Normally, the eyelids help lubricate and cleanse the eye during blinking. The sagging lower eyelid leaves the eye exposed and dry, and as a result, excessive tearing is common with ectropion. If it is not treated, the condition can lead to excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, and irritation of the eye. A serious inflammation could result in damage to the eye. Ectropion can be diagnosed with a routine eye exam. Special tests are usually not necessary.
The wet, inner, conjunctival surface is exposed and visible. Normally, the upper and lower eyelids close tightly, protecting the eye from damage and preventing tear evaporation. If the edge of one eyelid turns outward, the two eyelids cannot meet properly, and tears are not spread over the eyeball. This may lead to irritation, burning, a gritty, sandy feeling, excess tearing, visible outward turning of the eyelid, and redness of the lid and conjunctiva.
Treatment varies. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.But in general
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.