Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Ectropion

 

Definition

Ectropion is the turning out of the eyelid (usually the lower eyelid) so that the inner surface is exposed.

Causes

Ectropion is usually caused by the aging process and the weakening of the connective tissue of the eyelid, which causes the lid to turn out. 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
Signs and tests

A physical examination of the eyes and eyelids confirms the diagnosis. Special tests are usually not necessary.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome is expected to be good with treatment.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of ectropion.

If you have ectropion, get medical attention if you experience the following emergency symptoms:

  • Decreasing vision
  • Pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Rapidly increasing redness
Complications

Corneal dryness and irritation may lead to:

Corneal ulcers can threaten vision.

Treatments

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.

Prevention

Most cases are not preventable. Using artificial tears or lubricating ointments may prevent corneal complications.

References

Robinson FO, Collin JRO. Ectropion. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, et al, eds. Opthalmology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2004:chap 88.

Wirbelauer C. Management of the red eye for the primary care physician. Am J Med. 2006;119:302-306.


Review Date: 11/10/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional 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. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |