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Proper positioning and tension of the lower eyelid in relation to the eye is crucial to the health and comfort of the ocular surface. An ectropion is when the eyelid does not maintain good contact with the surface of the eye and falls outward away from the eye. This can be likened to dirty windshield wipers that don’t clean the windshield well due to poor contact with the glass. Tears are not distributed evenly across the surface of the eye leading to discomfort, dry eye, abnormal tearing, and possibly sight threating erosions or infections of the cornea.
There are multiple causes of ectropion, but by far the most common is excess laxity of the eyelid margin, which allows gravity to pull the eyelid away from the eye. Scarring, certain skin disorders, previous surgery, and eyelid tumors are other possible etiologies of ectropion. Surgical options for the correction of ectropion typically involve tightening the lower eyelid margin to reposition the eyelid into good contact with the eye. If significant scarring is present in the eyelid skin, a skin graft is sometimes necessary.
At your office visit, our oculoplastic surgeon will discuss the etiology of the problem and the most appropriate surgery for you. Most cases of ectropion can be fixed under local anesthesia in the UP Ophthalmology's minor procedure room.
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216