Sunday, January 15, 2006

trichiasis

Trichiasis is a condition in which the eyelashes are directed toward the globe of the eye, causing irritation of the cornea and conjunctiva. It may result in a secondary infection. This condition usually follows blepharitis (eyelid infection) but may also be associated with trachoma, cicatricial pemphigoid, alkali bums, and injuries. Trichiasis frequently occurs in the elderly because orbital fat diminishes and the eyelids become loose.
Treatment is usually directed toward the destruction of the irritating lashes, although the cornea and conjunctiva may be temporarily protected by a soft contact lens. Eyelashes removed by epilation (pulling out) regrow to full size in 10 weeks. Electrolysis is an electrical method used to remove lashes permanently but it is seldom practical for more than a few lashes. Liquid nitrogen applied to the anesthetized palpebral conjunctiva may be used to treat extensive trichiasis. Small areas are treated with direct application to the cilia. The cornea and skin must be protected when using liquid nitrogen.
Newell, F. W. Ophthalmology Principles and Concepts, 6th ed. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1986.

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