Eyelashes are an important part of the overall eye. They help protect against debris, sun, and among other things the wind. However, sometimes eyelashes can cause issues to the eye. Almost all of us have experienced an eyelash in our eye at some point in time. It is less than comfortable. But, what if your eyelash was growing inwards and poking your eye? Learn what can be done about inward growing eyelashes in this week’s article!
Why do eyelashes grow inward instead of outward?
Trichiasis, which is the medical term for inward growing eyelashes, is typically seen in adults. However, children can also have this issue. Especially, if a child has a habit of rubbing his or her eyes. Inward growing eyelashes can be due to a number of things like an eye infection, trauma, or from a cosmetic eye procedure. Although eyelashes provide an important function to the eye, inward growing eyelashes can be harmful. If an eyelash is continuously touching the cornea, for example, scarring could occur if left untreated. This could affect your vision, so it is important to have your family eye doctor assess and treat your eye sooner than later.
Patients who have an inward growing eyelash may experience the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Feeling of a foreign object in the eye
- General eye pain
- Watery eyes
In some cases, patients may experience no symptoms.
What can be done to treat an inward eyelash?
Your eye doctor will examine your eye as well as for any damage like scratches to the cornea. Several treatment options are available depending on how many eyelashes are inwards and whether this is a continuing issue. Commonly the eyelash is removed using forceps, which provides immediate relief. Your optometrist may recommend you to an eye specialist if the offending eyelash(es) are of a greater concern and require a more permanent removal. These treatments may include electrolysis, eyelid surgery, or cryosurgery.