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Trichiasis

What is Trichiasis?

Trichiasis is an uncomfortable condition in which the eye lashes are misdirected toward the eye ball and scratch its surface, the cornea. The position of the lower lid is normal, but the lashes point in the wrong direction. This may cause infection and scarring of the cornea.

What causes it?

The most common cause is chronic inflammation with scarring in the lower lid. Such scarring can occur from lid infections, skin diseases, or from trauma and poor healing of the lid tissues.

Treatment

Treatment by removal of the lashes is frustrating, because within a few weeks the lashes return to irritate the eye. Removal does provide temporary relief, however, permanent destruction of the lash follicle is the only sure way to prevent recurrences. This can be done by one of the following methods:

  • The first is electrolysis. Here an electric current is passed through the base of the lash in hopes of killing the cells that produce the hair. Often about one-third of the lashes will regrow.
  • A new method is now being used in which the offending lashes are treated with an Argon laser to destroy the hair follicle. The results are excellent, well tolerated and leave a good cosmetic appearance. Usually about one-third of the lashes regrow and often necessitate retreatment within six weeks.