What is Trichiasis?
Trichiasis refers to eyelashes that are abnormally positioned and growing in towards the eye. Trichiasis is known to cause discomfort and can lead to permanent damage and scarring of the cornea. Common symptoms of trichiasis include:
- Foreign Body Sensation
- Redness and Irritation
- Sensitivity to Light
Treatment Options for Trichiasis
The treatment options vary depending upon how many eyelashes are affecting the surface of the eye.
- Epilation – This is typically the first option for treatment. It is the least invasive treatment, but the eyelashes continue to grow back. The eyelashes are manually plucked by the doctor every 6-8 weeks in the office.
- Electrolysis – This treatment is performed in the office. A local anesthetic is injected into the eyelid to numb the area. An electrolysis probe is inserted into the individual hair follicle to zap the hair root. Multiple treatment sessions are required and this is a permanent solution to remove the misdirected eyelashes. This procedure cannot safely be performed on individuals with pacemakers or defibrillators.
- Eyelash Excision – Surgical eyelash excision is the most invasive treatment option for trichiasis. It involves an in-office surgical procedure to excise the entire eyelash follicle. Surgically removing the eyelashes will prevent regrowth of the lashes. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area and the procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. For about 3-5 days after the procedure, there is swelling and minimal discomfort.
The goal of each treatment option is to reduce the irritation and symptoms caused by the misdirected eyelashes. During your consultation, Dr. Lane will discuss which option is best for you given your unique situation.