Droopy / Saggy Lower Eyelids

Droopy, saggy or loose lower eyelid, which may become red and sore is called an ectropion. It can cause tears to overflow on the cheek and can be socially embarrasing. Many people don’t realise that this can be fixed with a relatively simple surgical procedure.

What causes an ectropion?

The most commonest causes of ectropion is ageing, where the eyelid becomes saggy. Constant wiping from the associated watery eye may then pull the lid further away from the eye. Ectropion may also develop from neurological conditions, for example Bell’s palsy. Any condition that tightens the skin around the lower lid, such as scarring,  can also lead to an ectropion as the lid is pulled downwards and outwards.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The most obvious sign of an ectropion is a saggy,  lower lid that is not sitting snuggly against the eyeball .  In severe cases, the inner surface of eyelid maybe turned outwards, making the eyelid look red and swollen. Patients may complain of an irritated, gritty/sandy feeling, burning sensation, mucous build-up and/or excessive tearing. Some may be bothered by the appearance of the lid.

What is the treatment for ectropion?

Artificial tear eye drops and ointments to lubricate the eye can temporarily relieve the symptoms of an ectropion; however, eyelid surgery to tighten the lower lid is necessary to fully correct this problem. There are a few different surgical approaches available and your ophthalmologist will discuss the best option for you at your consultation.


If the eyelid is turning inwards towards the eye, the eyelashes rub against the eye causing considerable discomfort. This is an entropion. There are several reasons why the eyelid may be turning in. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause. We understand how uncomfortable an eye with scratchy eyelashes can feel and are able to offer you treatment without delay.