Key points about entropion

  • Entropion is when your lower eyelid turns in towards your eye. This causes your eyelashes to rub against your eye.
  • You may be born with this condition or it may develop as you age or as the result of an infection or other damage.
  • Symptoms include excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelid, mucus discharge and a feeling that something is in your eye.
  • Treatment ranges from eye drops to surgery.
  • There are self-care steps you can take to reduce irritation in your eye when you have the condition.​
Man leans head back to put in eye drops
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Entropion can be present at birth (congenital) or acquired. Some of the acquired causes of entropion include:

  • ageing
  • trachoma infection
  • burns
  • damage to your lower eyelid.

The main symptoms of entropion are:

  • excessive tearing
  • crusting of the eyelid
  • mucus discharge
  • irritation of the cornea
  • impaired vision
  • feeling that something is in your eye.

See a doctor immediately if you have any of these:

  • blurred vision
  • loss of side vision
  • seeing coloured halos
  • redness of your eye
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pain in your eye.

If you are concerned that you might have entropion, it is important to see your local GP or optometrist for an eye examination. They are able to detect eye diseases and assess what may be causing your symptoms. You will then be referred to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) for further treatment if necessary. No special tests are needed most of the time.

Treatment of entropion depends on its severity. If you have dry eyes or mild cases, use an eye lubricant such as artificial tears, to keep the eyes moist. In severe cases, surgery aimed at rectifying the underlying cause is recommended. 

If your eyes become increasingly red or painful, or your sight becomes blurred see your doctor. You may need antibiotic or steroid eye drops.


The surgery for treatment of entropion is called eyelid surgery. Your eye surgeon or ophthalmologist will be able to recommend the best procedure for you.

While your eyes are irritated, avoid using eye makeup such as eyeshadow, eyeliner and other cosmetics around the eye. Also, avoid using contact lenses until the condition is under control.

Regular eye checks are important

As you get older, you should get your eyes checked regularly. Also get your eyes checked straight away if you notice any changes or you think your vision is not as clear as it used to be.

Eye protection

Wear sunglasses to reduce glare and UV damage.

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Credits: Adapted with permission from The Auckland Eye Manual

Reviewed by: Dr Janine Bycroft

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