Inflammation. Seemingly the culprit of the times, fingers increasingly point at its connection to everything from heart disease to arthritis. In the eyes, inflammation can lead to tear film instability that can contribute to dry eye. While there are a myriad of associated concerns due to ocular surface inflammation, a few eyelash-related complications of note are trichiasis, acquired distachiasis, local madarosis, and poliosis. Each of these is in some way connected to dry eye.
More dry eye: Treating dry eye with lipid-based eye drops
A common clinical encounter, trichiasis is usually accompanied by a foreign body sensation. This eyelash abnormality occurs when the cilia arise from the correct anatomical position but are misdirected posteriorly. The etiology of trichiasis include age-related tissue changes and close companions of ocular surface disease—that is, inflammation and the lid margin’s changes in response to it.
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Mal-positioned eyelashes can lead to ocular irritation, punctate epithelial erosions, corneal thinning, scarring, corneal pannus, decreased vision, and, although rare, corneal perforation.1
For mild cases of trichiasis and ocular inflammation, regular lubrication with artificial tears, lid hygiene, omega supplements, and MiBoFlo ThermoFlo can be considered to restore lid and gland health. For more severe cases, additional therapies such as epilation, anti-inflammatory therapy and other surgical procedures may be required.