We have about 165 to 240 eyelashes that protect our eyes from wind and dust particles. It is now becoming common to see kids with eyelashes touching their eyes.
Besides actually seeing the lashes poking their eyes, you will also notice the following:
- Always watery eyes
- Tendency to rub their eyes
- Eyes will have mucus discharge
- Constant eye blinking
- Sensitivity to light
There are different causes for the lashes to touch the eyes:
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Trichiasis is a common eyelid problem. Eyelashes grow inwards and toward the eye. The lashes rub against the cornea, the conjunctiva, and the inner surface of the eyelids.
A common condition that causes trichiasis is epiblepharon, a congenital condition found in Asians where the loose skin around the eye creates a fold. Epiblepharon makes the lashes take on a vertical orientation.
Distichiasis is a congenital or acquired condition where eyelashes arise from the meibomian glands on the posterior lamella of the eyelid margin. A person with distichiasis has double rows of eyelashes.
Inward turning of the eyelid which makes the lashes rub against the eye. It usually affects the lower lid.
This is a condition where there is uncontrolled eyelash growth. The eyelashes may grow more than 12mm long and become thicker than normal.
Some management options are the following:
a. Curling eyelashes
Curling your kids’ eyelashes may be easy, but for shorter lashes, it may be difficult to curl them.
b. Epilation (removing the eyelashes). For in-clinic eyelash removal, this is done if we are dealing with just a couple of lashes. However, for very young kids, this may be a challenge as their heads or eyes may move too much during this process. The eyelashes too will still grow, either correctly or in the same way.
c. Bandage contact lenses
A lot of kids are wearing contact lenses for different reasons. It can be due to anisometropia (unequal eye grade), post-surgery vision rehabilitation, or because they have a high grade. Another use of contact lenses is to act as a bandage that protects the corneal surface from the poking lashes.
Lid surgeries are done to redirect the lashes.
If you think surgery is too invasive and would want to wait for a while to see if your child will outgrow their trichiasis, wearing bandage contact lenses is a good way to protect the cornea. For younger kids, we teach the parents to put the lens in, but for older kids, they can do it on their own.
If you think your child has a problem with their eyelashes turning inward and rubbing their eyes, schedule your consultation with us. Call 09215452389 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send us a message on our Facebook page.
As seen in this photo the constant poking of the lashes on the cornea creates marks and compromises the corneal epithelium. So when kids look in different directions, especially down gaze when playing with their devices, the lashes will cause minute scratches on the cornea, which may irritate the eye and eventually have vision consequences. The cornea can be protected with bandage contact lenses.
And here she is a few years older putting contact lens herself. Click the photo see the video.