What is Trichiasis?
Trichiasis is a condition where normal hairs have grown inward towards center of the eye and rub on the cornea or the conjunctiva causing irritation. This may lead to ulceration of the cornea. Theses hairs are located in the medial canthus, where the two eyelids meet near the nose.
What animals are affected?
Dogs have a higher incidence rate over cats, particularly younger dogs. The breeds most commonly affected are pugs, shih-tzus, bulldogs, and lhasa apsos. Any breed with excessive skin folding can be affected. In some cases normal aging has caused the eyelids to droop and can lead to this condition.
Are there symptoms?
Owners may notice redness and irritation of the eyes and conjunctiva, excessive squinting and/or tearing. Ulcers to the cornea may also be present.
What is Distichia?
Distichia occurs when normal hairs have abnormal excessive growth from the tarsal gland in the eyelids and grow in the direction of the cornea. The hair follicles develop deeper than normal hairs. This can cause irritation to the cornea and lead to serious problems if not treated.
Are there symptoms?
Symptoms can include excessive tearing, excessive squinting and excessive growth of blood vessels on the cornea. A dark pigmentation of the cornea or a white scarring on the cornea may also be noticed. Ulcerations of the cornea may also be present.
How are these hairs diagnosed?
If any of the above symptoms are noticed, an examination with an ophthalmologist is recommended. A thorough exam by the doctor will determine if these hairs are present and if they have caused a problem to the eye.
How are these hairs treated?
Treatment varies due to the severity of the problem. Sometimes ointments are prescribed the help coat the eye to prevent irration from rubbing. A surgical procedure that freezes the hairs may be recommended for the distichia hairs. A surgical procedure that closes the inner part of the eyelid may be recommended for the trichiasis hairs.