What causes distichiasis, also known as double eyelashes?

What causes distichiasis

What is distichiasis?

Distichiasis (pronounced dis-tic-KAI-asis) is rare in which two rows of eyelashes grow together. Complete rows of lashes, a few extra lashes, or a single lash growing next to another are all possibilities. Distichiasis can cause various symptoms, ranging from minor discomfort to serious complications.

Instead of growing along the edge of the eyelid like normal eyelashes, these eyelashes grow from the inner lining of the eyelid. The abnormal eyelashes may come into contact with the eyeball due to this. This growth has the potential to damage the cornea and cause other eye problems that require medical attention.

Distichiasis causes

Distichiasis causes can be inherited or acquired later in life. It’s more common to develop this problem later in life. Congenital distichiasis patients may tolerate symptoms well and delay diagnosis until they are 5 years old or older. Chronic irritation at the base of the eyelashes, severe inflammation of the eyelid, or a chemical injury to the eyes can all lead to acquired distichiasis.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye specialist can diagnose the condition using a slit-lamp.

Distichiasis vs. normal eyelashes

Is there a difference between normal eyelashes and distichiasis-induced eyelashes? The lashes are full and look exactly like natural lashes in some cases. However, they are usually thinner than normal lashes. They usually grow inward toward the eye but are softer and shorter. Many patients with congenital distichiasis can live without symptoms until they are around the age of five. Elizabeth Taylor is a well-known example of a woman famous for her eyes. She not only had violet eyes, but she also had a stunning set of lashes.Here you will learn about Distichiasis vs normal eyelashes.

Distichiasis Elizabeth Taylor

“It’s hard to imagine that some of the first words heard by the parents of Elizabeth Taylor, the actress considered the world’s most beautiful woman in her heyday, was that their newborn daughter had a mutation,” Cari Nierenberg writes in her NBC News health article.

 In her case, it worked out in her favor later in life. While she was one of the fortunate ones who benefited from her twin set of lashes, distichiasis, as it is now known, is a painful medical condition for some people.

Not everyone who has the disease is as fortunate as Elizabeth Taylor. Some people experience minor discomfort, while others develop complications and symptoms that necessitate medical attention.

Distichiasis symptoms

Some people with distichiasis don’t show any signs or symptoms. The way the extra lashes rub against the cornea, for example, can cause different symptoms.

  • Sensitivity to light (called photophobia
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Foreign body sensation is a gritty sensation.
  • Corneal irritation, inflammation, or injury
  • Styes are small, tender bumps on the inside of the eyelids.

What is lymphedema distichiasis syndrome?

Congenital distichiasis is almost always associated with lymphedema distichiasis syndrome (LDS). LDS interferes with fluid transport throughout the body, causing swelling or puffiness in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes (the extremities).

Immune cells and fluids are normally produced and transported by the lymphatic system throughout the body. When your lymphatic system is working fine, it maintains proper fluid levels, absorbs fats, produces white blood cells to aid your immune response, and removes waste and abnormal cells.

Simply put, your lymphatic system is responsible for transporting fluid throughout your body, and LDS disrupts this process. It can lead to a lot of new problems, including:

  • Inflammation of the extremities
  • Entropion
  • Ptosis
  • Cleft lip and palate 
  • Neck webbed
  • Anomalies of the vertebrae
  • Heart defects that are present at birth
  • Distichiasis is, of course, another symptom of LDS.

All people with LDS have extra eyelashes when they are born, according to the US National Library of Medicine. The onset of LDS can occur at any age, but it is most common during puberty.

Distichiasis treatments

Patients who do not have any symptoms usually do not require treatment. If you’re having problems with your vision, you should see an eye doctor. The type of treatment your specialist recommends will be determined by the symptoms and risks of your specific condition. Among the possibilities are:

Non-surgical treatments

  • Eye drops or ointments can help to alleviate some symptoms.
  • To provide a boundary between the cornea and the eyelashes, soft contact lenses are used.

Surgical treatments

  • For those who only have a few extra lashes, epilation (plucking — at your eye doctor’s office) may be beneficial.
  • Cryosurgery, which freezes the lash follicles and destroys them, may be effective for those with a larger number of lashes.
  • Radiofrequency (RF) ablation, which uses a very small wire to apply RF to the root, can provide relief by destroying lash follicles.
  • Lid splitting surgery, which involves making an incision near the lashes and treating them directly, may be used in extreme cases.
  • If distichiasis causes symptoms and is not treated, scarring, thinning, or ulceration of the cornea may occur.

Distichiasis in dogs

This is a condition that can attack anyone, not just humans. Distichiasis causes can affect dogs as well. Distichiasis symptoms in dogs are usually similar to those in humans. However, because our canine companions are unable to communicate with us, there are a few things to keep an eye on in their behavior:

  • Redness in the eyes
  • Squinting
  • Rubbing and discharge
  • The symptoms of a corneal ulcer
  • Eye swollen (s)

Distichiasis is a hereditary trait in some dog breeds, including the following, which are the most commonly affected:

  • Cocker Spaniel, American
  • Shih Tzu is a breed of dog.
  • Lhasa Apso (Lhasa Apso) is a breed of
  • Dachshund
  • Golden Retriever is a breed of dog.
  • Chesapeake Retriever is a breed of dog that originated in the United States.
  • Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier is a breed of dog that originated in Boston
  • Pug
  • Boxer Dog is a breed of dog.
  • Pekingese

A dog’s eye exam, like that of their human counterparts, is required to diagnose the condition. Treatments may include non-surgical and surgical options similar to those used in humans.