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What is it?

Ectropion is eyelid malposition. This means that the eyelid, frequently the lower eyelid, is in the wrong position. In the case of ectropion, the edge of the eyelid turns outward, which is easily visible when looking at the patient's face, as you can see the reddish colour of the exposed conjunctiva, which should normally be covered by the eyelid. 

Symptoms

Ectropion is very common among the general population. The most common are called involutional, previously known as senile, in which age is a determining factor. These patients are the paradigm of the sympoms.

The majority cause excess tears, as the lacrimal punctum is everted and turned outward, which makes it impossible for the tears to reach the lacrimal duct to drain out. When the position of the eyelid has changed considerably, excessive exposure of the eyeball causes, in addition to red eye and significant irritation due to dryness, it obviously causes an aesthetic problem. 

Types

There are three fundamental types of ectropion, each with diverse causes and different treatments.

  1. The most common is involutional, due to the passing of years and laxity at which they grow in the tissue.This fact, completely associated with ageing, means that the position of the eyelid against gravity can change.
  2. There is also paralytic ectropion, in which changes to the functioning of the orbital muscle, in charge of closing the eye, affects the position of the eyelid. 
  3. And the third type, perhaps the most common, is cicatricial ectropion, in which the eyelid everts due to the tractional action of the skin affected by a dermatological issue. 

Prevention

There isn't any prevention for most common type of involutional ectropion. It is the effect of a series of ageing processes that cannot be avoided, but if detected early on then side effects can be prevented.

Treatment

Ectropion treatment is always surgery. One technique or another will be used depending on the aetiology of the ectropion, although it's always a quick, outpatients procedure with excellent results in the majority of cases.

Professionals who treat this pathology

Frequently asked questions