Eyelash problems - symptoms, causes & treatments
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Eyelid & Eyelash Problems

Eyelid and eyelash problems can be both painful and irritating, and may even damage your sight if left untreated.

The eyelids and eyelashes function as protective barriers. They keep foreign bodies out of your eyes, and ensure your eyes don’t dry out. So when eyelid and eyelash problems occur, they are best dealt with swiftly, to avoid any potential damage to your eyes.

Many people encounter eyelid or eyelash problems as they age, but thankfully most symptoms are easily treated. If you suffer from pain or discomfort due to an eyelid or eyelash problem, just contact Eye Institute or make an appointment online, with one of our eyelid surgery experts.

Ectropion: outward-turned eyelids

As we age, the eyelids can occasionally become unstable. In some people, the eyelids (usually lower eyelids) can turn outwards, giving a red-rimmed appearance to the eyes.

Ectropion symptoms

Aside from a change in appearance, ectropion may also cause some discomfort, including dry eyes and irritation. It is also associated with watery eyes.

Causes of ectropion

Ectropion usually occurs when the muscles that hold the eyelids firmly against the eyes weaken with age. However, it can also develop as a result of scarring around the eyelid, or nerve damage.

Entropion: inward-turned eyelids

As with ectropion, entropion can occur with age, and usually affects the lower eyelids. With entropion however, the eyelids turn inwards.

Entropion symptoms

Entropion is usually accompanied by severe discomfort, as the eyelashes rub on the eyes. Not only is this painful and irritating, it can also potentially cause damage to your corneas, and should therefore be dealt with promptly.

Entropion causes

Entropion is usually caused by age-related weakening of the muscles around the eyes, but may also be caused by scarring or nerve damage.

Trichiasis: ingrown eyelashes

With trichiasis, the eyelashes grow inwards so that they constantly rub on the surface of the eyes, causing great discomfort.

Trichiasis symptoms

The most common symptom of ingrown eyelashes is a feeling of there constantly being something in the eye. Redness, itchiness, irritation and a sandy or gritty feeling in the eye are all common symptoms too. Sometimes the ingrown eyelashes are normal in size and colour, but they may also be very fine and colourless, and only visible with a magnifying glass.

Causes of trichiasis

Trichiasis is often the result of an eye infection or inflammation of the eyelid. However, it can also result from injury or scarring to the eyelid, or may simply occur with age.

Treatment for eyelid and eyelash problems

Thankfully, both entropion and ectropion can be treated with relatively fast and simple eyelid surgery. Ingrown eyelashes can be removed, although a short surgical procedure may also be needed if they continue to grow back.

Treatment for eyelid and eyelash problems is generally quite simple and effective. However, it’s essential to choose an experienced, specialist oculoplastic surgeon, such as those at Eye Institute, to operate on the delicate areas around your eyes.

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