Turning of the lower eyelid outward is termed ectropion and can be a result of aging or previous lower eyelid surgery. Sagging of the tissues around the eye can literally pull the lower eyelid downward over time, resulting in poor adherence of the eyelid to the eyeball itself. This interferes with the ability of tears to drain normally. The effects of this can include chronic irritation and redness of the eye, chronic tearing and, paradoxical dryness of the eye.
Depending upon the cause of the ectropion, surgery to correct an ectropion may involve re-suspending the ligaments at either corner of the eye, or removal of a portion of the eyelid itself to allow for tightening of the lid against the eyeball. Recovery is usually well-tolerated although massaging of the lid or temporary taping of the lid are sometimes indicated.