What Is Ectropion?

Ectropion is the turning out of your eyelid (usually the lower eyelid) so the inner surface of the eyelid is exposed. It is caused by the weakening of the connective tissue of the eyelid.


  • Dryness
  • Irritated and painful eyes
  • Redness of the lid and white part of the eye
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensitivity to light and wind
  • Chronic conjunctivitis

The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have ectropion. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a complete exam.


The most common cause is aging, but other causes include scarring outside the eyelid due to previous surgeries, burn, radiation and trauma, facial nerve palsy, eyelid cancers and birth defect. By age, the tendons and muscles that hold your eyelid taut against your eye stretches out and eyelid starts to turn out. Similarly, other causes also affect how the eyelid rests on the eye and cause the eyelid to turn out.

Risk Factors

Age, previous eyelid surgeries, trauma, burns, and cancers are the main risk factors.

Tests and Diagnosis

Ectropion is diagnosed with an eye examination. During the examination, your doctor will evaluate your eyelid and the surrounding tissue to find the right treatment for you.

Treatment and Drugs

Treatment involves surgery, which restores the eyelid to its normal position and improves symptoms.

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Reviewed by Hakan Demirci, M.D.