Ingrown Eyelashes / Trichiasis
Ingrown eyelashes are a fairly common problem affecting both males and females of all Nationalities and affecting a wide age group.
The medical name for ingrowing eyelashes is “Trichiasis”
Ingrowing eyelashes or trichiasis is a painful and potentially damaging eye condition, where the eyelashes grow inwards towards the eye.
The constant rubbing of those eyelashes on the cornea can lead to infection and eventual scarring and vision problems. Ingrowing eyelashes can be of a normal colour and thickness or very fine and white or colourless and are extremely hard to see. From many years of personal experience, I find that the normal thicker eyelashes can scratch the eye BUT those fine, colourless lashes are extremely irritating and tend to tickle the eye constantly.
Ingrown eyelashes cause pain and irritation to the eye, with soreness, watering and redness of the eye being present until the offending ingrowing eyelashes are removed.
They need to be attended to promptly so that further eye problems will be avoided.
**There is an excellant optical instrument that helps you to see those eyelashes. Go to www.owneye.com
Symptoms of Ingrowing Eyelashes:
- Irritation in the eye.
- Redness of the eye. Especially a red spot where eyelash touches the eye.
- Constant watering of eyes.
- Inflammation of the eyelash follicle or in severe cases,inflammation of the eyelid.
- Feeling of sand or grit in the eye.
- Feeling of something scratching the eye.
- Blurred vision can be a symptom of ingrown eyelashes
Possible Causes of ingrowing eyelashes or trichiasis:
- Trauma to the eye
- Hereditary / congenital condition
- Malformed eyelid
- Ageing process
- Auto Immune conditions
- Previous eye injuries (even from childhood)
- Some medical proceedures on eyes could, years later, contribute to ingrown eyelashes.
- Contaminated cosmetics may cause or spread infections.
- Nationality, with some nationalities having heavily hooded eyelids.
- Touching your eyes with dirty hands can cause infection which may eventually lead to ingrown eyelashes.
- Styes in childhood seem to be common to a lot of people who have ingrowing eyelashes in later life.
**Stye also known as Hordeolum is a red tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid.
Treatments for ingrowing eyelashes or trichiasis:
Some relief may be obtained by applying hot ( not too hot) and cold compresses to reduce swelling, always ask advice from a Professional.
Removal of offending ingrown eyelashes seems to be the only effective solution.
However, most eyelashes grow back in approximately 4 to 8 weeks.
Those suffering for trichiasis often have a condition called “dry eye” too.
** NB Dry Eye will be the topic of our next discussion.
Treatments by Optical Professionals
- Removal (epitlation) of offending ingrowing eyelashes.
- Electrolysis by a professional
- Cryoablation, a proceedure by an Opthalmologist or Oculoplastic surgeon who freezes the hair follicles.
“Distichiasis” pronounced dis-ti-ki-a-sis
Distichiasis is another type of abnormal growth of eyelashes from the eyelid, where there is often an additional row of eyelashes that turn in towards the eye.Two hairs can grow from a single follicle and these lashes often grow towards the eye.
***Symptoms and Treatment for Distichiasis are the same as for Trichiasis.
NB. Please always seek professional help and advice from your Eye Specialist or Optical Professional.
The information included here is to be used only as a guide.
***To see a useful instrument to help you see your ingrown eyelashes go to