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    The connection between dry eye and eyelashes

    Sometimes we need to look beyond the ocular surface

    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.

    More dry eye: Using warm compresses to treat MGD

    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.

    Next: Acquired distachiasis

    Dane Sultzer
    Dane Sultzer will complete the Doctor of Optometry program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy Health Sciences University in May 2016. ...
    Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO
    Director of Optometry, New York Hotel Trades Council, Hotel Association of New York City, Health Center, Inc.


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    Optometry Times A/V