Inward turning of the margin of the upper or lower eyelid or both

  • More common in elderly people
  • Gender, genetics, and lifestyle are not significant factors

In entropion, the eyelid turns inwards. The eyelashes rub against the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye) and the conjunctiva (which covers the white of the eye). Although the conjunctiva also lines the eyelids, this area is unaffected. Typical symptoms of the condition are pain in the eye area, watery eye and irritation. Left untreated, the cornea may become damaged (see Corneal ulcer), leading to loss of vision.

In developed countries, entropion mainly affects elderly people because of the natural weakening of the muscles around the eyelids that takes place with increasing age. In developing countries, entropion affecting the upper eyelid most often follows bouts of the eye infection trachoma, which causes scar tissue to form on the inner surface of the eyelids. Eventually, this tissue may shrink, making the eyelids turn inwards.

A minor operation can be carried out to realign the eyelid. This procedure usually corrects the condition and prevents any further damage to the eye.


This eye’s lower lid has turned inwards, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye. This condition is called entropion.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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