Understanding Eye Problems

After struggling with blurry vision for years, I finally realized that it was time to consult with a professional. Simply put, I was tired of dealing with the struggles of acting like I could see when I really couldn't. It was embarrassing, and I just wanted to be able to participate like normal. I was nervous for the eye appointment, but my doctor was incredible. He walked me through every aspect of the exam and calmed my fears about permanent eye damage. This blog is all about working with an optometrist to get the vision experience that you really deserve.

3 Treatments For Trichiasis


Trichiasis is a painful eye condition that occurs when your eyelashes grow towards your eyeballs, instead of away from them. These misdirected eyelashes rub against the surface of your eyes and lead to irritation and damage. Fortunately, many treatments are available for trichiasis, so you don't need to learn to live with your condition. Here are three treatments for trichiasis.

Mechanical Epilation

Mechanical epilation is the medical term for plucking. Your optometrist will use a small pair of tweezers to carefully remove any eyelashes that are growing in the wrong direction. This procedure can be painful, especially if you're getting a lot of eyelashes plucked, so local anesthesia may be used.

This works well, but it isn't a permanent solution. Plucking the eyelashes doesn't destroy the follicles, just the hairs themselves, so your eyelashes will eventually grow back. Regrowth takes about two months, so you'll need to see your optometrist on a regular basis to have the treatment repeated. However, repeated plucking can sometimes damage the follicles, so over time, you may notice that fewer eyelashes are re-growing.

While mechanical epilation seems like a simple procedure, it's important that you don't try to pluck your own eyelashes at home. Doing so puts you at risk of injuries to your eyes or infections. Your optometrist has the training required to pluck your lashes without causing additional problems.


Cryotherapy uses extremely cold temperatures to destroy your eyelash follicles. The cold temperatures need to be applied directly to the follicles, not the skin that covers them. To do this, your ophthalmologist will make an incision along the inner rim of your eyelid. This incision exposes the follicles, which can then be directly treated.

Your ophthalmologist will hold a cryoprobe against each follicle and hold it in place until an ice ball forms. This ice ball will be left in place for eight seconds, and then the follicle will be rapidly rewarmed with a saline solution. The procedure will then be repeated to ensure that the follicle is destroyed. Every affected follicle will be treated in this way.

One study found that 90% of patients were successfully treated with this therapy. The other 10% of patients experienced regrowth of the offending eyelashes, requiring additional treatments. Complications associated with this treatment are minor and include mild swelling of the eyelids.

Laser Removal

Lasers can be used to remove hairs on other parts of your body, and they can also be used to remove unwanted eyelashes. Laser therapy uses pulses of laser beams to destroy the eyelash follicles. The light selectively targets the follicles without damaging the surrounding skin.

Local anesthesia will be used to make you more comfortable, but you'll be awake during the treatment. You'll be told to gaze away from the area that's being treated. Once you're ready, your ophthalmologist will then hold a laser unit against the base of your affected eyelashes. It may take between 30 and 40 pulses of the laser beam to sufficiently treat each eyelash.

After your treatment is finished, you'll need to use corticosteroid-antibiotic eye drops. These medicated drops help to control inflammation in the treated area as well as helping to prevent an infection.

One study reported that 61.1% of people were successfully treated after only one treatment session, while after three treatment sessions, 85.2% were successfully treated. Complications include hypopigmentation or lid notching. Hypopigmentation means a loss of skin color, while lid notching means that there are indentations in the treated areas of the lids.

If your eyelashes are growing inwards, you may have trichiasis. This condition is uncomfortable, but there are many ways to treat it, so see your optometrist as soon as possible. For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Montgomery Eye Center.


1 February 2016