Trichiasis and Cryoablation

Diagnosis and Surgical treatment

The in-growth of eyelashes is a symptom of Trichiasis, a common eyelid abnormality that is treated at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute; the treatment is usually surgery. We want you to know more about this condition that causes irritation of the eye and the eye care involved in its resolution.

Cyroablation will be discussed as one of the treatments that can help with this disorder. As a method of surgery for the eyes that has been used since the 1960s, it has been effective for treating this condition. Tissue changes, as the result of subfreezing temperature, are the result of this type of procedure.

What is Trichiasis

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the eyelashes are misdirected in this condition; they grow inwards and affect the eye. Rubbing against the cornea, which is the clear dome-like window that covers the pupil and the iris, as well as the conjunctiva, which is the thin and clear membrane covering the sclera, the white part of the eye, this condition causes irritation. It also affects the inner surface of the eyelid.

What are Some Causes of Trichiasis?

More common in the adult population, this condition can also develop in other ages. It can be caused by an eye infection, autoimmune conditions, inflammation of the eyelid and trauma. Some factors which heighten the risk of this condition include:

  • Epiblepharon
  • Herpes zoster eye disease
  • Eye Trauma
  • Chronic blepharitis
  • Trachoma
  • Rare disorders of the mucous membranes and skin

Epiblepharon is a congenital disorder mostly found in children which have Asian ancestry. Loose skin around the eye forms a fold, causing the lashes to become vertical.

Trauma to the eye can include burns and other accidents.

Chronic blepharaitis is an ongoing condition that is somewhat common. The eyelids become swollen and inflamed, with oily particles as well as bacteria affecting the margin of the eyelid adjacent to the base of the eyelashes.

Trachoma is commonly found in developing nations and is a severe eye infection. Caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, it has been associated with poverty and lack of hygiene. It is a condition that is totally preventable as well as treatable.

Considered rare disorders, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and cicatricial pemphigoid affect the skin and mucous membranes.

Symptoms of Trichiasis

Your eye may feel irritated, as if you had something in your eye. Redness, sensitivity to bright light and tearing are other symptoms that you may experience. If your eyelashes have been rubbing against the cornea for long periods, you may experience corneal abrasion or, in some cases, a corneal ulcer.

You should never attempt to remove an eyelash that is causing a problem; it is best to consult a physician for an evaluation.

What are Some Treatments?

Treatment consists of removing the eyelash, the follicle or both of them and redirecting the growth of the eyelash. This condition may involve a single eyelash or just a few of them; in this case, Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute may remove the lash that is causing the problem with forceps. However, the eyelash could grow back again in the wrong direction, repeating the problem.

There are surgical treatments that are sometimes performed. These include:

  • Surgical excision
  • Electrolysis
  • Ablation with radio frequencies
  • Cryoablation

The last surgery, Cryoablation is a surgery that is done at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute to treat trichiasis.


It is a minimally invasive procedure that targets an area and can be effective in the treatment of trichiasis. This type of surgery uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy the diseased tissue where the eyelashes grow. Because no incision is involved, it is considered less invasive.

Sometimes called cryotheraphy, cryoablation is a surgical treatment for this condition. It focuses on the hair follicles. Liquid nitrogen or argon gas travels through a needle-type of applicator and targets the tissue.

Some results of using cryoablation to the cells of the follicles include:

  • Ice crystals formed
  • Interruption of blood supply
  • Programmed cell death

Recovery time is less than with other types of surgery. Because it is less invasive, it is less traumatic and relatively painless. With its nature as being targeted, cryoablation has fewer side effects. And the most important part is that it can permanently remove eyelashes that are ingrown.

What are some of the downsides to using this type of treatment?

  • Cost of procedure
  • Surrounding normal tissue or nerves may be damaged
  • Slight chance of damage to the eyes

Eye Exams

A routine eye exam at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute can help in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the condition discussed above as well as other problems. Regular eye care goes a long way in the prevention of eye problems.

About Us

Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute has been a leader in quality care of the eyes since 1981. As the primary provider of vision care in the Tampa Bay area and on the western coast of Florida, we have recruited the best physicians to provide the finest of care. Our staff is chosen to supply care and concern to our valued patients, who we treat as members of our family.

We are leaders in eye health and use the latest technology and techniques to provide the most recent innovations in care. In addition to technology, our personal care of our patients is valued by all who come into our offices.

For your convenience, we have offices throughout the Tampa Bay area. You can schedule an eye exam at any of our locations. From newborns to the elderly, we treat all ages of patients with personalized care.

Call Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute to schedule an appointment at an office that is near your home.

Not all tips included here will work for everyone. This article should not replace in-person medical treatment. If you are interested in learning more, call us.

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