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  • Chris Thiagarajah MD

Eyelid turning in...what causes it and how to fix it?



One of the things that can happen to an eyelid is the muscles of eyelid can turn in against the eyeball itself. How can this happen? In patients in Denver, commonly the eyelid can become loose with time. Along with that, the eyelid muscles that stabilize the eyelid to be straight can also become weak. When this happens, the eyelid can loosen and become weak. When this happens one of two things can happen. It can turn out away from the eyelid. This is also known as an ectropion. It can also turn in against the eye. This is called an entropion.

What is the problem with this. There are two problems. First if the eyelid turns away from the eye, the eye can become dry and irritated. Tears may not properly flow into the tear duct and the patient can tear. If the eyelid turns against the eye, the lashes can rub and damage the eye. When this happens, the eye can feel very irritated from the lashes. Often the eye is red from the irritation.

What is the treatment when the eyelid has an ectropion or entropion? The most common way to fix this problem is by tightening the eyelid and retightening the muscles of the eyelid. This is an outpatient surgery that takes 30 minutes to perform. Often in the office, stitches can be placed if the eyelid is against the eye to atleast temporarily get the eyelashes away from the eye. The success rate of the procedure is around 95%.

What should you do if you are a patient in Denver with a entropion or ectropion? It is important to be seen by an oculoplastic surgeron who can evaluate to see what the problem is and make sure that the eyelid is positioned incorrectly because of aging changes and not something more serious such as a stroke, scarring of the eyelid or infection. At our office in Denver, we see patient with this problem daily and as oculoplastic surgeons we commonly treat the underlying problem and fix it regularly.

This patient had an inturning eyelid from aging changes and I tightened the muscles in the office to get the patient back to normal and back to his daily routine as fast as possible. The recovery is one week long and the procedure is very effective in solving the problem. As an oculoplastic surgeon or eyelid specialist, it is key to know the anatomy to solve this eyelid problem. Hope this helps any patient who has this issue and wants to know why it is happening and how to fix it.


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