Parenting a newborn baby is overwhelming as every day a new thing happens. Sometimes an eyelash may fall into your baby’s eyes. And the process of removing it is daunting due to the delicate and sensitive nature of your baby’s eyes. Other times you may notice that instead of your baby’s eyelashes pointing outwards, they are pointing towards the eye. This condition is known as trichiasis.
Eyelashes protect your eyes against dust and foreign particles. The glands found at the base of your lashes help in lubricating your eyes when you blink.
Eyelashes in the Eye, Why?
You can also attest to having an eyelash fall in your eyes; the same can happen for your child. Another reason where your baby’s eyelashes are in his eyes is if they have inverted eyelashes. Causes are unknown for baby’s born with trichiasis. But, your kid’s eyelashes may point towards the eye if he-she has hurt the eyelid.
Trichiasis can also happen when your child rubs his eyes too much. A congenital disorder, epiblepharon, causes an extra fold of skin on the lower lid. The extra layer of skin pushes the eyelashes into the eye, and it is noticeable a few days after birth.
If your eyelash falls into the eye, you feel like you have something; the same things happen to kids. You will notice your kid blinking too much, trying, or removing it by rubbing their eyes. Your kid’s eyes also tend to tear up easily.
Suppose your child’s eyelashes are pointing towards the eyes; there is a chance that it is asymptomatic. The foreign body sensation in the eye may cause him to feel uncomfortable; thus, he rubs it continuously. This will result in pain and red-eye. It can also cause scratches to the cornea leading to infection and scarring.
How to Remove Eyelashes That Fall Into the Eyes
Please wash your hands before touching your baby’s eyes. If you are alone, find someone to help with holding the baby. Gently open your baby’s lower eyelid to open his eyes widely. Then rinse it with a stream of lukewarm water to flush away the eyelash.
You can tilt your child’s head to make sure water rinses the whole eye. Continue to flush until the eyelash flows out with the water. Place a towel under your baby’s head to drain the water.
Afterward, you can check under the upper and lower eyelid to ensure no eyelashes are left.
Alternatively, you can put eye drops in the baby’s eyes to help flush the eyelashes.
If these methods do not work, try wiping your baby’s eyes using a wet cotton swab or a moist handkerchief.
Caution: Never use a dry cotton swab or handkerchief to wipe the inside of your baby’s eyes as it could hurt him/her.
When to See a Doctor
If you notice that your baby’s eyelashes are pointing inwards, do not try rotating them, as it can result in an injury. Suppose even after removing a fallen eyelash, your baby continues to rub his eyes to a point where they turn red. And, it is noticeable that your baby is in pain. Please visit an ophthalmologist for consultation and advice on treatment
Treatment for Trichiasis
Most often, the condition resolves itself after a few weeks or months after your baby’s facial bones continue to develop. In other situations, if it’s just a few lashes that are pointing towards the eye, your baby’s eye doctor may pluck them out.
If it’s the whole eyelash and asymptomatic, your doctor will prescribe an artificial tear ointment to protect the eye surface. The doctor will also give you an antibiotic if there is a scratch.
If your baby’s eyes are pointing inwards due to Epiblepharon, your baby can undergo surgery to remove the extra skin and rotate the eyelid.
Note: In some rare instances, surgical intervention can lead to further damages to your baby eye. Therefore, consult with an ophthalmologist and only opt for surgery if there are no options.
Do not panic. It is relatively common for an eyelash to fall in your baby’s eye. Follow the method above to remove the eyelash. And, see your doctor if it is trichiasis.