Entropion is the medical term for an inward-turned lower eyelid, causing your eyelid skin and eyelashes to rub against your cornea (the outer layer of your eye). Besides causing discomfort such as pain, redness, excessive watering and mucous discharge, entropion can ultimately lead to corneal damage, infections and vision impairment or loss.
Entropion is often the result of eye muscles weakening over time, but infections, scars, trauma, inflammation can also cause entropion, or the condition may be present at birth. Sometimes artificial tears and lubricating ointments can provide temporary relief. Surgical treatment can help restore your normal lower eyelid anatomy and function, providing lasting relief for your discomfort. This procedure can be expertly performed by Dr. Valerie H. Chen, our board-certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic plastic surgeon.
Dr. Chen may recommend that different therapies be tried before resorting to surgery. If your condition is being caused by inflammation or infection, your eyelid function may return to normal when your eyes are healthy again. There are other non-surgical treatments that may temporarily produce the desired results such as:
The more permanent solution is surgery. Prior to your surgery, your eyelid will be numbed with a local anesthetic. If you are feeling anxious, we may prescribe a light sedative to help you relax. The actual treatment will vary, depending on the root cause of your condition:
If surgery is recommended, here are some general tips to promote a successful procedure:
You will be provided detailed instructions in writing by Dr. Chen and her team prior to your procedure.
After surgery, expect to experience bruising, swelling and general tightness as your eye heals. A cold compress will help alleviate your discomfort with the first 48 hours being crucial and then use a warm compress. Dr. Chen will prescribe antibiotic and steroid ointments to protect your eye from infection. It may take 2 weeks for the side effects to subside, so be patient and rest to promote a speedy recovery. Typically, dissolvable sutures are used so there is no need to return to have stitches removed.
Dr. Chen and her team will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions in writing.
With the lower eyelid back into normal position, you should experience more eye comfort as well as a rejuvenated appearance. The goal is to make your eyelids look as natural as possible while also restoring the natural function.