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What is Ectropion? Print E-mail
Written by Mike Cohen   
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Ectropion is an outward turning, or eversion, of the eyelid margin. It may be mild or a total eversion, which exposes the mucous membrane lining underneath the lid. It usually involves the lower lid and not the upper.
What is going on in the body?

Ectropion formation may be congenital, or present at birth. Ectropion may also develop following changes in the tone of eye muscles, or the skin around the eye.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?

In younger people, ectropion may occur after an injury with scarring that causes the lid margin to relax away from the eyeball. In elderly people, the condition is often caused by relaxation and stretching of the underlying muscles in the eyelid.

Other causes of ectropion include:
- severe facial nerve palsy, or paralysis
- burns
- eyelid tumors
- unrepaired fractures of the bones around the eye
- allergies, with skin dryness and redness

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment of ectropion consists of lubricating drops and ointments to protect the eye from exposure. Antibiotics and warm compresses may also help relieve the symptoms. The best management for this condition, however, is usually a surgical procedure to remove the excess tissue from the lid margin.
What are the side effects of the treatments?

Side effects to treatment will depend on the treatment used. Lubricating drops may cause mild eye irritation. Surgery poses a risk of infection, bleeding, eye damage, and allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
What happens after treatment for the condition?

If treatment of ectropion is successful, no further treatment is necessary.
How is the condition monitored?

Surgery generally corrects the problem, but any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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