What causes entropion?
Entropion occurs primarly as a result of age (the involutional entropion) with consequent weakening of all eyelid tissues, including the muscles. An imbalance between eyelid muscle groups can result in the inward turning of the eyelid.
Entropion can also be caused by scarring, either from trauma, infection (generally trachoma) or chemical burns. It can also be congenital.
What are the symptoms of entropion?
In case of entropion, the inwardly pointing eyelashes can scratch the cornea. This phenomenon is called trichiasis and causes a watery eye and corneal irritation. If it is severe, it can result in corneal ulceration.
How is entropion treated?
In mild cases, entropion can be managed using lubricating eyedrops, gels or ointments. However, surgical treatment is usually needed.
If trichiasis involves only a few eyelashes, it can be temporarily relieved by plucking off the offending eyelashes. Permanent relief can be achieved with radiosurgical epilation that destroys the root of individual eyelashes using an ultrafine electrode.
If surgery is required, correction of both vertical and horizontal laxity of the eyelid may be necessary. The vertical laxity is corrected by a horizontal incision just beneath the lower eyelashes. This is most frequently done by removing a small lateral wedge in the eyelid, similar to an ectropion correction.
What can I expect from the surgery?
Most patients experience almost immediate relief from the condition, usually the day after the procedure, and suffer little or no discomfort. Minor bruising and swelling can be expected, and this is likely to disappear within two to three weeks of surgery.
When a lateral wedge removal is performed, the stitches will be taken out after ten days, and sometimes even after six days.