Entropion is an eye condition characterized by the turning of eyelids inwards. Entropion surgery is known to be the most effective and only treatment that can permanently fix entropion. The lower eyelids are more prone to entropion, resulting in the eyelashes to be in actual contact with the cornea. It causes an affected individual to suffer from major discomfort, visual problems such as blurriness and loss of vision, excessive tearing, and foreign body sensation.
Entropion although not fatal, is a serious condition. Since the sense of vision is obstructed and impaired by this medical condition, individuals with entropion are recommended to undergo entropion surgery to permanently treat decreased vision problems.
Entropion is most common in the aging population. Older adults usually suffer from entropion during their golden years and may assume that such a condition is a normal sign of aging. Although it is most common during older people, it should never be dismissed as “common” or “normal.” Entropion causes major discomfort, and if left untreated, may even result to loss of vision. With this, the elderly should address entropion signs and symptoms immediately to health professionals so steps towards treatment can be strategically prepared for them.
Entropion is also known to be a congenital and hereditary condition. This means that it can also occur among young individuals. If both parents are carriers or even manifest entropion themselves, there is a high chance that their offsprings carry this condition too. In addition, entropion can also be the result of a congenital anomaly. There are newborns that manifest entropion signs and symptoms. During this delicate stage in life, treatment through entropion surgery is done immediately in order for vision not to be impaired by irritation caused by the eyelashes from constant rubbing against the corneal surface.
Inflammatory conditions, infections, and mechanical injury are all probable causes that may result ion entropion. Facial burns may cause serious nerve and muscle damage that may inevitable result in muscular spasm and inward turning of the lower and even upper eyelids. Eye surgical procedures may also trigger the development of entropion. Lastly, infections in and around the eye area are also known to be major causes of entropion.
Entropion Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms related to entropion range from mild to severe. Early diagnosis is ideal so complications can be altogether avoided. Here are the general signs and symptoms associated with this eye condition:
- Red eyes
- Irritated or inflamed eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Impaired or blurred vision
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to wind and light
Aside from the discomfort, affected individuals also report eye pain, especially when the condition is already chronic. Decreased vision is a sign that the cornea is getting damaged by constant and continuous rubbing of both eyelids and eyelashes to the surface of the eye.
If left untreated, entropion may result in the development of one or all complications listed below:
- Corneal ulcer
The eye is a sensitive organ, thus constant rubbing of foreign substances against its surface will lead to ulceration. The cornea is most often affected when an individual is suffering from entropion. The ulcerations in the cornea most often result in impaired vision, blurry vision, and hazy vision. All of thes can be avoided if patients seek immediate treatment from accredited eye specialists.
- Eye infections
The conjuctival sac becomes inflamed in an individual suffering from entropion. In response to inflammation, the eye may become reddish, watery, or dry. The presence of conjunctivitis may also foster the development of other eye infections as well.
- Loss of vision
Although loss of vision is a rare complication of entropion, it is still a possibility if left untreated. A severely scarred and ulcerated cornea will suffer from chronic infection which then results in loss of vision.
Entropion Treatment Options
Entropion can be detected right away, especially among the elderly who undergoes regular eye check up. Once detected, further diagnosis is performed by an eye specialist. An ophthalmologist implements a series of eye tests before diagnosis can be made. Once the doctor confirms the presence of entropion, certain medications and practices are prescribed to patients.
Of course, surgery is the only proven means of treating entropion. However weeks or even days prior to surgery, patients will be recommended to use certain eye medications to decrease the general feeling of discomfort caused by entropion.
- Artificial tears
An ophthalmologist will most likely prescribe artificial tears to treat dry and irritated eyes. It soothes the eyes and decreases discomfort to an acceptable level. Applying artificial tears will also reduce your chances of developing other eye infections.
- Botulimum Toxin Injections
Muscle spasm that is causing entropion may be treated with Botulimum A toxin injections. This is injected into the muscle folds of the eyelids in order to relax it and prevent it from turning inwards.
- Water proof tape
A surgical water proof tape may decrease irritation and the discomfort caused by entropion too. An ophthalmologist will provide steps on how to properly tape the eyelids so it does not go inwards and cause irritation.
Surgery is done under local anesthesia. The goal of surgery is to permanently fix the problem by tightening the eyelid and its attachments to their normal position. This is done by creating suture lines in the affected eyelid and securing them in place to avoid recurrence. Normally, an entropion surgery is an outpatient procedure. Recovery time may range from a few days for mild cases to two weeks for more severe entropion cases.