This is a common term applied to a condition in which the lashes grow in an improper direction or position. In a form of the disease known as trichiasis, the lashes are not confined to the edge of the lid, their proper position, but grow upon the mucous membrane within the edge, being generally very irregular, and often small, pale, and stunted. In another form of the disease known as districhiasis, there are two rows of lashes instead of one, the outer being in proper position, while the inner is farther back and turned inward. In consequence of these irregularities of the lashes, the mucous membrane of the eye becomes greatly irritated, the eyes becoming red, watery, and irritable. The patient complains of constant prickling and itching, as if sand, or some other foreign body, were lodged beneath the lid. Sometimes the cornea becomes inflamed, and sight is impaired.

The Treatment of Wild Hairs in the Eye

When the difficulty is not very severe, it may be successfully treated by carefully extracting with a pair of small pincers the offending lashes, repeating the operation as often as necessary. After being pulled off a number of times, the growth is usually checked, and thus a cure is effected. In very bad cases, it sometimes becomes necessary to destroy the hair follicles by passing to the root of each lash a fine needle, dipped in a strong solution of caustic potash. Sometimes electricity is used for the same purpose, the current being passed through a needle, which is inserted at the root of the hair. In extremely bad cases, the mucous membrane containing the offending lashes must be removed by a surgical operation.