Why Does My Eyelid Turn Outward?

The eyelids perform important functions, such as keeping debris from the eyes and spreading the tear film across the ocular surface. When the eyelid is injured or malpositioned, problems can arise. Ectropion, the outward turn of the lower eyelid, is a relatively common problem that can be solved by consulting with an ophthalmologist.

What is Ectropion of the Eye?

Ectropion is the term used to describe a lower eyelid that turns outward. This turning may cause the inner lining of the eyelid to be visible. Because the eyelid does not come into contact with the eyeball as it should, ectropion can cause symptoms such as a burning sensation, dry eyes, excessive tearing, and chronic eye infections.

Several factors may cause the lower eyelid to turn outward. In some cases, the problem is present at birth (congenital). It can also be acquired, occurring later in life. This is more common, and may involve:

  • Involutional ectropion is an age-related condition and may be the most common type of lower eyelid ectropion to occur. It is believed that the lower eyelid may droop outward due to the loss of strength in the elastic fibers and collagen protein in the eyelid. Without adequate collagen and elastin, the skin and connective tissue loosen. Loosened eyelid skin can result in an outward fall due to gravity.
  • Cicatricial ectropion is a less common condition that results from abnormal contractions of the lower eyelid. Abnormal contractions could be caused by scar tissue in the lower eyelid.
  • Paralytic ectropion may stem from a nerve problem. For example, a facial nerve that operates the lower eyelid could be damaged during a stroke. Usually, cranial nerve paralysis causes other problems in facial movement, as well.
  • Mechanical ectropion is an outward turn that occurs when a mass or tumor pulls the lower eyelid downward.

Treating Ectropion

An eyelid that turns outward can be repaired with a minor surgical procedure. Depending on the severity of ectropion, a doctor may first prescribe drops to keep the eyes lubricated and comfortable. In the case of scar tissue, it may be advisable to perform controlled stretching of the dense, rigid skin. Ectropion surgery is an outpatient procedure that is often performed with local anesthesia, eliminating the risks of general anesthesia. This operation may involve small incisions and the removal of part of the lower eyelid to restore contact with the eyeball. Stitches are placed discretely at the outside corner of the eye.

If you have questions about an eyelid turning outward or inward, contact our Amarillo office at (806) 351-1177. We can help you determine the best treatment for your needs.

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Panhandle Eye Group Subspecialists

7411 Wallace Blvd
Amarillo, TX 79106

Amarillo Cataract & Eye Surgery Center

7310 Fleming Ave
Amarillo, TX 79106

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This is the latest IOL for Dr. Murrell's cataract practice. The LAL is the first IOL that can be adjusted after the surgery. Dr. Murrell can customize your IOL so that you can have the vision that you desire.

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What's coming to Dr. Murrell's practice in the next few months.
Embrace with Accutite and Facetite and Morpheus Prime and Morpheus8

Accutite and Facetite: - These are FDA approved cosmetic devices that can melt fat and mildly tighten skin. It requires only a small opening in the skin. The Accutite is for small areas such as the upper and lower eyelids. The Facetite is for the larger areas of the face such as the jowls, neck, and nasolabial folds.

Morpheus Prime and Morpheus 8 - These are FDA approved cosmetic devices that are applied to the skin to tighten the skin and collagen underneath the skin. The Morpheus Prime is for smaller areas smaller areas such as the upper and lower eyelids. the Morpheus8 is for the larger areas of the face. Both Morpheus Prime and Morpheus 8 takes 3 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart from each other.

The Accutite and Morpheus Prime can both be performed to the eyelids to maximize the cosmetic effect. Likewise, the Facetite and Morpheus8 can both be performed to maximize the cosmetic effect.

The Embrace is the device that rungs the Accutite, Facetite, Morpheus8, and Morpheus Prime. These treatments are not covered by insurance. The patient will have to pay for the procedure.

What's New in Dr. Murrell Practice in 2023

Light adjustable IOl (LAL) for Cataract Patients

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