Is there any treatment to stop loss of eyelashes and eyelid inflammation.. This has been going on for about 7 years and my eyelashes are shorter, thinner and growing the wrong direction now because my eyelids are so swollen.. I've gone to skin doctor's, eye doctors and they just say it is due to allergies or allopecia.... Most women want to have eyelashes, me included.... The only eyelashes that I ever pull out are a few that grow into my eye at the corner of my eye lids closesy to my nose. The rest twitch and itch and fall out, and my eyelids are about three times more swollen then they use to be.... I also have issues with feeling like I have foriegn objects in my eyes and little white cysts around where my eyelashes come out of my eyelids.
Without a comprehensive history, physical exam and review of lab results, I can not give you an exact diagnosis or treatment plan. I do empathize with your distress over a cosmetically vexing problem and I am hopeful that treatment with some of the newer eye drops may be helpful to you.
You mentioned visits to the dermatologist and ophthalmologist and you are exactly on the right track with that. Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation) may be caused by inflammation, bacteria, tumors, environmental conditions or allergies. Blepharitis may also be related to systemic disease or medications, either ocular or systemic. From your note, it seems the specialists have narrowed down your problem to possibly allergies, alopecia and perhaps trichotillomania, if I understand correctly.
Apparently, alopecia areata with exclusive involvement of eyelashes is extremely rare. I am assuming you don’t have hair loss on the scalp or other areas of the body since it wasn’t mentioned, so perhaps alopecia may be lower down on our list of possibilities.
Trichotillomania is another possibility, yet you mentioned you pull out only the eyelashes that grow into your eye. Also, rubbing the eyes a lot due to dryness or itchiness can cause eyelashes to fall out.
Allergies is the third possibility you mentioned. Have you had a chance to go to an allergist and get skin tested to determine if you have allergies? The allergist can test you for environmental allergens such as various grass and trees pollens, molds and animal dander. In many people, exposure to animals such as a dog or cat causes blepharitis.
Have you noticed symptoms such as itchy eyes, throat, or ears and sneezing several times in a row especially 1) during certain times of the year 2) during exposure to certain animals 3) during certain times of the week? For example, some people have symptoms only when they go to work and are better on the weekends away from work. That may mean some chemical/environmental exposure at work may be causing the symptoms.
Iron-deficiency anemia and hyper/hypothyroidism can also cause hair loss, so simple blood tests at your primary doctor’s office can determine whether you have any of these conditions. All three conditions can be easily treated.
Also, please have your doctor review your medication list because some medications, such as a few of the chemo agents or antidepressants, can cause dry eyes, itching and subsequent eyelash loss.
If you have an infection not responding to the usual medications, a culture may be taken. The doctor swabs the discharge and sends it to the laboratory to look for specific organisms.
Until this condition is cleared, you should refrain from using eye makeup or wearing contact lenses. Place your lenses in a clean case with clean disinfectant solution. After the initial episode has cleared, you may require daily eyelid care: warm compresses and lid cleansing. Apply warm moist compresses to your eyelids for 10-20 minutes four times per day to cleanse them and to reduce discomfort. For lid cleansing at morning and nighttime, moisten a cotton swab with dilute baby shampoo / baby body wash solution and use it to carefully cleanse the lid margins. Eyes may feel more comfortable with artificial tears.
Also, avoid any allergens that bother you. Talk to your ophthalmologist about some of the newer eye drops available that can help regrowth of eyelashes.
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