Trichiasis is misalignment of eyelashes, which rub against the eyeball, in a person who does not have entropion.
Trichiasis develops most commonly some time after chronic blepharitis (see Eyelid and Tearing Disorders: Blepharitis) or injury or damage to the eyelid. The eye becomes red and irritated, feels as though something is in it (foreign body sensation), and develops tearing and sensitivity and sometimes pain when exposed to light. If the condition persists, scarring of the cornea can occur. A doctor bases the diagnosis on the symptoms and an examination. Trichiasis differs from entropion in that the eyelid position is normal. An eye doctor can remove the eyelashes with forceps. If eyelashes grow back, other methods can be used to remove them, such as electrolysis (use of heat and electrical current to destroy the hair follicle) or cryosurgery (use of extreme cold to destroy the hair follicle).
Last full review/revision July 2012 by James Garrity, MD