Ectropion: Diagnosis, Causes & Treatment

June 28, 2023


Have you noticed a droop in your eyelid that has caused the inner part of the lid to be exposed? You may have a condition called ectropion. Ectropion can cause difficulty with reading and driving, leaving your eyes watery and sore.


Ectropion is treatable. OOMC is here to discuss some of the basics of ectropion diagnosis, causes, and treatment. Learn more below and schedule an appointment to begin treating your ectropion today. 

How Ectropion Is Diagnosed

EctropionDiagnosis of ectropion is completed with an eye exam and medical history. This is done in order to observe what’s happening with your eye and ensure nothing in your medical history is missing during the diagnostic process.

An exam also allows your doctor to examine the tightness and muscles in your eyelids. Your eye doctor will likely use a bright light and slit lamp, which increases magnification, to get an even better look at your eyelid and the inner portion, if visible.

Your eye doctor will also take the opportunity to determine the cause of your ectropion to rule out other conditions and recommend treatment.

Causes of Ectropion

There are several causes of ectropion, including:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Facial paralysis
  • Previous surgeries or scars
  • Eyelid growths
  • Genetics

The muscles across your body, including under your eyes, tend to weaken when you age. Your tendons will also stretch.

Muscles and tendons keep your eyelid against your eye, so when they weaken, your eyelid may droop.

Facial paralysis can freeze the facial nerves and muscles under your eye. This can lead to an eyelid droop.

Previous surgeries and other types of skin damage can change the way your eyelid rests on your face. If a large amount of skin by the eyelid has been removed or damaged, it can lead to ectropion.

A growth on your eyelid can cause the lid to turn outward.

Sometimes genetics plays a role in how your eyelids develop. Ectropion can be present at birth for those with genetic conditions, like Down syndrome.

Ectropion Treatment

SurgeryAn eye specialist will begin ectropion treatment by prescribing steroid ointments or antibiotics, if needed. Artificial eye drops may also be added to the regime to relieve eye dryness and irritation.

If there’s an underlying cause, like an infection or skin condition, these will be treated. The eye drops and treatment of underlying causes may be all you need.

Some people, however, may require surgery. There are several outpatient surgery options, so you’ll likely go home the same day as your procedure.

Surgery for ectropion caused by aging involves the surgeon removing a small part of your lower eyelid and stitching the lid back together, tightening it.

Surgery for scar tissue or previous injuries sometimes requires a skin graft from your upper eyelid or behind the ear. You may need more than one surgery to complete treatment for this kind of ectropion.

Discuss Ectropion Treatment Options With an Eye Care Specialist

If you’ve been diagnosed or believe you may have ectropion, an eye care specialist at OOMC can help.

Our team will perform an exam and work with your current doctor to create a unique treatment plan that meets your needs.

We have many practices across the northeastern United States. Find a practice near you and schedule an appointment today.

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