What Causes Ectropion?Ectropion is usually due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid because of ageing changes.
Therefore, it is most often seen in elderly people who develop stretching of the structures supporting the lower eyelid.
It can also arise because of undetected skin cancers pulling down the eyelid, trauma, contraction of scar tissue (from wounds, burns or surgery) and following eyelid or facial surgery.
Ectropion may develop following facial nerve palsy (Bells Palsy), in which the muscles surrounding the eye (and other facial muscles on that side of the face) are paralysed.
Finally, ectropion may be further aggravated due to constant wiping of the eye, which tends to pull the eyelid further from the eye.
What are the symptoms of Ectropion?Ectropion can cause chronic irritation to the eyelid and the eye. This can result in excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid and mucous discharge, infection, irritation of the cornea and impaired vision.
When the lower eyelid is turned outward and no longer touches the eye, it cannot properly spread the tear film across the eye, which leads to poor drainage of tears through the nasolacrimal (tear drainage) system.
The exposed inner lining of the eyelid becomes dry and inflamed. As a result, the eye may become damaged.
How is Ectropion treated?To prevent dryness of the cornea because the tear film does not properly lubricate the eye, artificial tears and lubrication ointments may be used to keep the cornea moistened. However, the majority of ectropia are treated surgically.
What can I expect after surgery?There is typically almost immediate resolution of the condition. Most patients have little, if any, discomfort. Dr Hornsby will prescribe antibiotic ointment and drops for your eyes.
There may be a mild swelling and bruising following the procedure, however, this should resolve within 2-3 weeks.
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