Entropion is the turning in of an edge of an eyelid, causing the lashes to rub against the eye. It usually is seen on the lower eyelid.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Entropion can be present at birth (congenital).
In babies, it rarely causes problems because the lashes are very soft and do not easily damage the eye. In older people, the condition is usually caused by a spasm or weakening of the muscles surrounding the lower part of the eye.
Although rare in North America and Europe, trachoma infection can cause scarring of the inner side of the lid, which may cause entropion. Trachoma scarring is one of the three leading causes of blindness in the world.
If you have entropion, the following should be considered an emergency:
Eye redness that increases rapidly
Most cases cannot be prevented. Treatment reduces the risk of complications.
See your doctor if you have red eyes after visiting an area where there is trachoma (North Africa, South Asia).
Howard GR. Eyelid retraction. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 12.4.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.