Ectropion is the medical term used to describe sagging and outward turning of the lower eyelid and eyelashes. The margin of the eyelid and the eyelashes evert (turn out) . This can lead to excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge and irritation of the eye.
Most cases of ectropion are due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid as a result of aging. Some cases result from scarring of the eyelid caused by chemical and thermal burns, trauma, skin cancers, or previous eyelid surgery. Rarely ectropion can be present at birth if the eyelids do not form properly.
Ectropion should be repaired surgically before the cornea is damaged.
The surgery to repair ectropion is usually performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient. In most cases, your doctor will tighten the eyelid and its attachments. You may have a patch overnight and then will commonly use an antibiotic ointment for about a week. After your eyelids heal, your eye will feel comfortable and you will not longer have the risk of corneal scarring, infection, and loss of vision.
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