I welcome you once again to my blog, i hope you and your families are staying safe and adhering to the the safety measures and protocols put in place to safeguard us from the corona virus.
Today i want us to take a look at a condition of the eye, or better still the eyelid which may or may not be common in your geographical location and treatment options available.
The eyelid is an essential adnexa of the ocular system. It has basic functions such as blinking to keep foreign objects out of the eye, spreading tears and keep the cornea moist and helping in the drainage of tear through the punctum, a tiny hole located in the nasal part of the lids.
Sometimes certain things happen to the eyelid and this causes it to evert and move farther away from the globe. This turn of the lid away from the globe is what we refer to as ectropion. Ectropion may be a complication of cases of cranial nerve 7 palsy or just an effect from aging.
Aging: This process is an inevitable one that we cannot escape, we will all grow old however some people experience the aging process differently than others and some may end up with ectropion which mostly affect their lower eye lid. What happens is simply a matter of muscles of the lid becoming weak and the lid losing its elasticity.
Trauma and Scarring: Ectropion may also come about as a result of improper healing of lid tissues after injury, trauma or surgery. When this happens a contracture may result and cause the lid to pull away from the globe.
Tumors and Growths: Growths whether they be benign or malignant could force the lids to turn away from the globe resulting in ectropion.
Facial Nerve Palsy: The facial nerve has an innervation to the lid and in cases of its palsy or paresis and ectropion may come about as a complication or as a direct cause.
Effects on the Eye
Ectropion causes the lid to move further from the globe thus inhibiting the functions it ought to perform to contribute to the health of the globe. This may results in the eye or cornea becoming dry which could further lead to infections due to a compromise in the tear integrity function.
Again, a common effect seen is epiphora. Epiphora simply means excessive tearing, this come about because the tears produce which ought to have passed through the punctum to drain cannot because the lid is farther from the globe, thus it forms and pool and overflows as more tears are produced.
An increased tear production otherwise known as lacrimation may also occur due to the dry eye effect that may arise when the lid fails to spread the tears produce and keep them on the eye.
Ectropion is mostly treated through surgical means, surgical procedures such as horizontal lid laxity, medial canthal tendon laxity and others may be applied based on the severity of the condition. Mild conditions which may be excused from surgical intervention based on patients preference.
It is important that we always report all ocular cases and observed anomalies to our primary eye care practitioners for diagnosis and treatment. The eye is a delicate organ and so waiting could make things worse. Early intervention is key to better prognosis, regular eye check ups should be encourage among all.
Thanks for reading, stay safe and have a great week, Special thanks to my mentors and supporters @mcsamm, @tj4real, @armandosodano, @delilhavores, @gentleshaid, @agmoore. For further reading;
Ozgur O, Kaufman EJ. Ectropion. [Updated 2020 Aug 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441929/
Schrom, T., & Habermann, A. (2008). Temporary ectropion therapy by adhesive taping: a case study. Head & face medicine, 4, 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-160X-4-12