a condition where normal hairs around the eyes are rubbing on the conjunctiva and/or the cornea
What is it?
Nasal trichiasis is a condition where normal hairs around the eyes are rubbing on the conjunctiva (white part of the eye), and / or the cornea (clear outer dome of the eye). The offending hairs are usually located on the nasal skin fold or medial canthus (inside corner of the eyelids).
What causes it?
Nasal trichiasis can be caused by infection, inflammation, autoimmune conditions, congenital defects, eyekud agenesus and trauma.
What are the symptoms?
This condition often causes increased “tearing”, facial fur wetness and mild eye redness when the hairs only contact the conjunctiva. If the offending hairs are rubbing against the cornea, it can result in significant irritation and cause corneal ulceration and scarring. If left untreated, this can result in dense corneal pigmentation and scarring, called pigmentary keratitis, and impair vision.
Who is susceptible to it?
Dogs and cats of any age or breed can develop nasal trichiasis.
How is it diagnosed?
Nasal trichiasis can be diagnosed by an eye exam.
How is it treated?
Depending on the severity and location, treatment may consist of trimming the hair short around the eyes and routine application of ophthalmic lubricants. If the condition is causing significant corneal changes, surgery may be indicated.
A medial canthoplasty can be performed to shorten the eyelid opening and prevent the hairs from rubbing on the cornea. This involves removing a small amount of skin from the medial canthus and then suturing the eyelids together to provide a smaller eyelid opening. This technique is also used to treat pets with overly large eyelid openings, with inadequate ability to close their eyelids–a condition often seen in conjunction with nasal trichiasis. Pets with large nasal folds often benefit from this procedure and may not require additional surgery to shorten skin folds.