Reduced vision, cataracts, and dry eyes are common issues of aging, but an additional condition associated with the aging process, called ectropion, can affect the eyelid. Ectropion is an eye disease where the lower eyelid droops away from the eye and turns outward, leaving the eye itself exposed. It may occur in one eye or both. The good news is that it is treatable and optometrists can diagnose it through a routine eye exam.
The primary symptom is a drooping lower lid on either or both eyes. The lid and the white of the eye may be visibly red. The eyelid’s purpose is to protect the eye, but when the eye is left exposed, it can cause a dry and gritty feeling that can progress to pain. Another symptom is excessive tearing, or epiphora, where the eye produces excessive water. The cornea may become inflamed, causing a condition called keratitis. Ectropion could also cause recurring or long-term bacterial infections or conjunctivitis.
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