Some people are impacted by this condition but most of the time it creates no complications or problems. If you are not aware of double-layer eyelashes before, then this post helps you to know about this rare condition.
Distichiasis or double-layer eyelashes are a very rare condition where two rows of eyelashes are present. The second row includes few hairs, a complete set, or a single lash. Very different from normal lashes, the extra lashes are thin, short, and light. Typically, distichiasis affects all the four eyelids but it shows up on just a single lid or lower lids. One may experience symptoms like irritation of the cornea, ptosis (droopy eyelids), photophobia (sensitivity to light), and conjunctivitis. In the majority of the cases, this type of condition is present at birth and caused due to genetic mutation that is mainly linked to heart problems.
People having these types of eyelashes acquire or inherit after birth and the common cause is a rare genetic mutation of the FOXC2 gene on chromosome 16. This gene helps in developing lymphatic and blood vascular at the time of embryonic growth. The gene is a part of a rare condition termed as LDS (lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome) and it involves fluid accumulation in the double eyelashes and body’s tissues. The fluid or lymph leaks from the blood vessels and enter into tissues. The lymphatic system filters the fluid through tubes termed as lymphatic vessels and if the vessels stop working then the fluid is accumulated in the tissue and causes swelling. Generally, people who have LDS experience swollen legs and in LDS, the lymphatic vessels are malformed, underdeveloped, obstructed, and not function properly.
If you do not have any symptoms then the treatment of double-layer eyelashes is not required. When there are symptoms, you need to remove the extra lashes and the treatment depends on extra lashes and the number of symptoms. When the cases are not severe, just put eye drops provide relief from eye irritation by protecting the cornea from extra lashes. Moreover, you can wear soft contact lenses that provide a layer of protection. For avoiding any difficulties, make sure you wear the lenses properly. It is better to consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist for knowing the best practices to wear contact lenses. You can also remove the lashes by using an epilator, an electronic device that will pluck your lashes. However, after two to three weeks, the lashes will again appear, as epilation is a temporary treatment procedure. This procedure should only be followed when you have only a few extra lashes. On the other hand, you can go for cryotherapy that uses very chilling temperatures to destroy the eyelash follicles and great for people having several additional lashes. This method will give you good results for a long time, but the downside is it also sheds your nearby eyelashes, the edge of the eyelid gets thinner, depigmentation of the lid and eyelid scarring. There are other treatment options like electrolysis to remove a few eyelashes and during the process, a needle is inserted in the eyelash follicle and the needle emits a short wave frequency to destroy the follicle.