Merrimack Eye Clinic
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1230 Bridge St., Rt. 38
Lowell, MA 01850
Tel 978-452-2100
Fax 978-446-0490
Merrimack Eyewear
Mon 8:00AM-6:00 PM
Tues 8:00AM-7:00 PM
Wed 8:00AM-5:00 PM
Thu 8:00AM-5:00 PM
Fri 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sat 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
Eyelid Problem - Entropion
Definition EntropionEntropion, an eyelid that turns inward, is a problem that typically affects the lower lid. Surgery is often required to correct the problem. Entropion can be detected during a routine eye exam. A slit lamp microscope is used to examine the effects of the in-turned eyelashes on the surface of the eye. 
Causes It usually stems from a muscle spasm; however, it can also be caused by scarring from trauma or inflammation from certain diseases that involve the eyelids.
Symptoms The most common symptoms are:
  • Tearing
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Sandy, gritty feeling
Effect on Vision When the eyelid turns inward, the lashes rub against the eye, resulting in irritation, scratchiness, tearing and redness.
Treatment The most effective treatment for entropion is surgery, although some patients find temporary relief by pulling the lower lid down with a piece of tape. Artificial tears are also helpful to ease the irritation caused from the lashes rubbing against the eye.
Eyelid Problem - Ectropion
Definition EctropionPatients with ectropion have a sagging lower eyelid that leaves the eye exposed and dry.  Ectropion can be diagnosed with a routine eye exam.  
Causes An ectropion is caused by a lack of tone of the delicate muscles that hold the lid taut against the eye.
Symptoms Excessive tearing is a common with ectropion, but wiping the tears away only causes the lid to sag more. Ectropion is most common among people over the age of 60. Some symptoms are
  • Irritation
  • Burning
  • Gritty, sandy feeling
  • Excessive tearing
  • Red, irritated eyelid
Effect on Vision There is irritation and excessive tearing. See Symptoms above for other possible effects on vision.
Treatment The irritation can be temporarily relieved with artificial tears and ointments to lubricate the eye. However, surgery to tighten the lid is usually necessary to correct this problem.