Search Encyclopedia:    
List of Topics Print This Page
 

Ectropion


Definition:

Ectropion is the turning out of the eyelid so that the inner surface is exposed. It most often affects the lower eyelid.

Causes:

Ectropion is very often caused by the aging process. The connective tissue of the eyelid becomes weaker, which causes the lid to turn out so that the edge of the lower lid is no longer against the eyeball. 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:

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests:

The health care provider will make a diagnosis by doing an exam of the eyes and eyelids. Special tests are not needed most of the time.

Treatment:

Artificial tears (a lubricant) may ease dryness and keep the cornea moist. Surgery to tighten the muscles that hold the eyelids in place is very often effective. It may be done as outpatient surgery using medicine to numb the area (local anesthesia).

Outlook (Prognosis):

The outcome very often good with treatment.

Possible Complications:

Corneal dryness and irritation may lead to:

Corneal ulcers can threaten vision.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of ectropion.

If you have ectropion, get emergency medical help if you have:

  • Vision that is getting worse
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness that is getting worse quickly
Prevention:

Most cases are cannot be prevented. Using artificial tears or lubricating ointments may prevent injury to the cornea.

References:

Cahill KV, Doxanas MT. Eyelid abnormalities: ectropion, entropion, trichiasis. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology 2013. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:vol 5,chap 73.

Robinson FO, Richard J, Collin O. Ectropion. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2013:chap 12.7.

Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 431.


Review Date: 9/2/2014
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

   View History
  Ectropion

   
   

 

About UPHS   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 1-800-789-PENN © 2014, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania