Overview

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 a 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

  • Irritation
  • Burning
  • Gritty, sandy feeling
  • Excessive tearing
  • Red, irritated eyelid

Detection and Diagnosis

Ectropion can be diagnosed with a routine eye exam.

Treatment

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.