Ingrowing Eyelashes Trichiasis

The lashes could grow in an aberrant manner even though the eyelids themselves are in good position. This might be the result of chronic infection of the lid margins or follow trauma. Sometimes one or two aberrant lashes appear for no apparent reason (Figure 5.10). The lashes tend to rub on the cornea producing irritation and secondary infection. The condition is referred to as "trichiasis". When one or two

Figure 5.10. Trichiasis. This ingrowing eyelash on the lower eyelid has been causing a sore eye for three months. IB

lashes are found to be the cause of the patient's discomfort, it is common practice simply to epilate them with epilating forceps. This produces instant relief, but often the relief is shortlived because the lashes regrow. At this stage, the best treatment is to destroy the lash roots by electrolysis before epilation. Needless to say, before removing lashes it is essential to be familiar with the normal position of the lash line and to realise, for example, that hairs are normally present on the caruncle. When the lash line is grossly distorted by injury or disease, the rubbing of the lashes on the cornea can be prevented by fitting a protective contact lens or, if this measure proves impractical, it might be necessary to transpose or excise the lashes and their roots.

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