Epiblepharon is a condition in which the eyelid muscle and skin ride above the eyelid margin to form a fold of tissue that causes the cilia (eyelashes) to point upwards. It can involve either the upper or lower eyelid, but is most commonly seen involving the lower eyelid. It is congenital and commonly seen in Asian or Hispanic children. It can be in one or both eyes.
© 2021 American Academy of Ophthalmology
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EPIBLEPHARON?
Epiblepharon is often asymptomatic; however can be associated with foreign body sensation, redness, irritation, and tearing of the eyes. This is due to the eyelashes touching the eye. The lashes are typically very soft during infancy, but they become more stiff over the first few years of life. This means that while the child is young, the lashes rubbing the eye may not cause a problem. As they get older and the lashes become more stiff, they can actually scrape the eye surface and cause abrasions. This is often associated redness, pain, and light sensitivity. Abrasions on the surface of the eye can lead to infection and permanent scaring. Symptoms may be more noticeable when the child is looking downwards (such as reading at school) as this exacerbates the inward rotation of the lid and lashes.
IS THERE TREATMENT FOR EPIBLEPHARON?
Epiblepharon may resolve spontaneously in the first few years of life due to growth of the eyelids and facial bones. If it does not resolve, or is associated with abrasions on the eye surgery is often needed. The surgeon will remove the small strip of skin and orbicularis from the lid margin that is causing the eyelids to rotate upwards and allow the eyelashes to turn outward away from the eye.