Entropion & trichiasis

Written by danyel bierly
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Entropion & trichiasis
Eyelashes can irritate the eye. (woman close-up eye eyelashes image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com)

Entropion and trichiasis are both disorders that affect the eye. Entropion is a disorder that causes the lower eyelid to turn inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye. Trichiasis is a disorder that causes the eyelashes to grow inward instead of outward on the eyelid, causing irritation to the eye. Both disorders affect not only humans but also dogs.

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Identification

Identification of trichiasis is looking at the formation of the eyelashes and the direction in which they are growing. Instead of curving away from the cornea, the eyelashes will curve toward it. Identification of Entropion is looking at the eyelid itself and seeing that the lining of the eyelid curves toward the cornea of the eye, causing the eyelashes to come into contact with the cornea.

Entropion & trichiasis
Normal outward curvature of eyelashes (l"oeil image by Richard villalon from Fotolia.com)

Symptoms

Both disorders cause the following similar symptoms--decreased vision due to damage of the cornea, redness, eye ulcers, eye irritation and pain. Also look for the following signs in your pet--squinting, rubbing of eyes repeatedly, mucous or thick discharge from the eyes and rolling of the eyelid.

Entropion & trichiasis
Seek professional diagnosis and treatment. (ophthalmoscope image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)

Time Frame

Entropion occurs at birth or becomes evident shortly after birth due to inheritance and continues until treatment is given. Trichiasis occurs over time and has no specific time occurrence. It can occur at birth or develop later in adulthood. It is more common to see cases of trichiasis in adulthood.

Geography

Trichiasis is not a common disorder found within the United States for humans. It generally is found in countries where the infection trachoma is common such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Entropion is also not commonly found within the United States and is also linked to the eye infection of trachoma in humans. For dogs, on the other hand, both disorders are commonly found within the United States.

Entropion & trichiasis
Trachoma is an eye infection common in Africa. (Africa image by Luka76 from Fotolia.com)

Prevention/Solution

A physical examination is generally all that is needed to diagnose both disorders, with special tests rarely needed. Plucking the offending eyelashes only provides temporary relief because within a few weeks the hairs will regrow. Lubricating the eyes in cases of entropion is effective in giving moisture to the cornea and providing temporary relief. The most effective treatment is surgery or laser hair removal.

Entropion & trichiasis
Plucking ingrown eyelashes provides temporary relief. (tweezers on white image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com)

Considerations

To help relief the discomfort of your pet, surgery will be necessary. Surgery will prevent further damage to your pet's eyesight and could possibly prevent further damage to your pet from its limited range of eyesight due to the condition.

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