Entropion is the turning in of the edges of the eyelid (usually the lower eyelid) so that the lashes rub against the eye surface.
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 cornea. In older people, the condition is usually caused by a spasm or weakening of the muscles surrounding the lower part of the eye. This causes the lid to turn inward.
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 are not preventable. Treatment reduces the risk of complications.
People who have recently traveled to an area where there is trachoma (North Africa, South Asia) should seek treatment if they have red eyes.
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 David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.