Patients with ectropion have a sagging lower eyelid that leaves the eye exposed and dry. It is caused by a lack of tone of the delicate muscles that hold the lid taut against the eye. Excessive tearing is common with ectropion, but wiping the tears away only causes the lid to sag more. Ectropion is most common among people over the age of 60.
Signs and Symptoms
- Gritty, sandy feeling
- Excessive tearing
- Red, irritated eyelid
Detection and Diagnosis
Ectropion can be diagnosed with a routine eye examination.
The irritation can be temporarily relieved with artificial tears and ointments to lubricate the eye; however, surgery to tighten the lid is usually necessary to correct this problem.
Illustrations by Mark Erickson
With acknowledgement to St. Lukes Eye Hospital.