The eyelids can be malpositioned for a variety of reasons: it could be congenital or it could be secondary to aging, trauma, burn or tumors. A malpositioned eyelid not only aesthetically looks unappealing, but it can cause severe irritation, burning, tearing and in some instances compromise vision. Here are a few reasons for eyelid malposition.
Ectropion is an outward turning of the eyelid. This condition is most often associated with aging, however it could also be caused by facial nerve paralysis (Bell’s palsy) or scarring of the skin around the eyes from previous injury or burn.
Most patients with ectropion complain of constant tearing and a burning sensation. Depending on the cause, the surgical correction varies. If the ectropion is secondary to aging, the lateral aspect of the lower eyelid is tightened and thus repositioned. If the ectropion is secondary to scarring, a skin graft from the upper eyelids or behind the ear will be harvested to correct the defect.
Entropion is an inward turning of the eyelid, typically involving the lower lid. It is usually caused by a loose lower lid, however it can also be caused by scarring from trauma or inflammation from certain ocular diseases.
Because of this inward turning the patient complains of constant irritation, tearing and a burning sensation. Depending on the cause, either a lower lid tightening procedure, or the release of scar tissue and placement of a mucus membrane graft will be needed. Both of these operations are performed on an outpatient basis.