Ectropion is the most common lower eyelid malposition. It is often an aging change resulting in eyelid laxity allowing the lid to sag away from the eye. Mild cases may not visibly turn away from the eye but can cause tearing, irritation, and/or dryness of the cornea. More severe cases will result in the eyelid truly turned away from the eye. Symptoms may include excessive tearing, chronic irritation, redness, pain, a gritty feeling, crusting of the eyelid, mucous discharge, and breakdown of the cornea
Entropion is when the eyelid turns inwards towards the eye due to infection or scarring of the inside eyelid. Once turned in, the eyelid and eyelashes rub against the eye, usually causing significant irritation, redness, and sensitivity to light and wind. If left untreated, chronic entropion can cause corneal scarring and loss of vision. If entropion exists, it is important to have it fixed before permanent damage to the eye occurs. Ectropion and entropion often occur when aging causes tissues to stretch, loosening the eyelid.