An ectropion is a condition characterized by the outward turning of your eyelid and lashes. It occurs mainly in the lower eyelids. If you are affected by ectropion, you will find that you are unable to open or close your eyes properly. This leaves your eyes exposed to the elements and causes them to become dry.
The cause behind it is the weakening of the tendons and muscles that hold the eyelid as a result of aging. It can also occur as a result of scarring caused by health-related factors such as skin cancer removal, burn, facial nerve palsy, Bell’s palsy, and systemic diseases like lupus.
At Houston Oculofacial, Dr. Mirwat Sami offers a variety of treatments for ectropion and its symptoms. Read on to find out more about this eyelid issue.
Symptoms of Ectropion
The drooping of the eyelid causes it and the eye to become dry. It can also lead to excessive tearing. The more you try to wipe away the tears, the more your eyelid will droop.
With ectropion, you can expect to see redness and experience some level of irritation. You may feel like there’s something in your eye.
Some people think that ectropion is just a normal part of aging and purely a cosmetic issue. However, this is untrue and ectropion should not be ignored. The dryness associated with ectropion can cause conditions that can damage your vision. These include corneal ulcers and infections. Because of this, it is vital that you seek treatment from Dr. Sami.
Ectropion Treatment at Houston Oculofacial
To ease the symptoms of ectropion and protect the cornea, lubricating drops are prescribed. Improper wiping of these drops can make things worse. One must always wipe from the outer eye to the nose.
As for treatments at Houston Oculofacial, one option is the use of skin tape, which is an adhesive made for use on human skin. This adhesive can be used to lift the lower lid and help minimize any symptoms.
Another option is the stretching of the scar tissue that is causing the ectropion. The procedure involves steroid injections and massaging of the scar tissue. However, the success rate for this procedure isn’t very high.
The third option is surgery. Ectropion surgery is carried out as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The procedure involves removing a part of the lower eyelid and stitching the leftover tissue. It’s very effective and boasts a high success rate.
Another surgical possibility is skin grafting. This is usually carried out on ectropion cases involving scar tissue. Skin grafting is where the skin is taken from another location and grafted onto the lower eyelid.
To treat ectropion caused as the result of facial paralysis, multiple surgeries may be required.
After surgery from Dr. Sami, you will be required to wear an eye patch. Antibiotics and steroid ointments may be prescribed to prevent infections. Some mild pain is bound to be there. This can be addressed with pain relievers. Similarly, swelling and bruising can be treated with a cold compress.
Find Out More from Dr. Sami
Dr. Mirwat Sami is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. At Houston Oculofacial, we regularly help patients treat ectropion and other oculofacial issues. Contact us for your consultation.