Ectopic Cilia are out of position (ectopic) and extrude, or come out of, the base of the meibomian gland follicle through the conjunctival surface. This puts the ectopic cilia in direct contact with the eyeball itself as the lids open and close this causes varying degrees of irritation to the eye as you would expect. Squinting, tearing, redness, irritation, and corneal ulceration (erosion of the cornea) are all potential components to this abnormality. Ectopic cilia are normally in the central to paracental region of the upper eyelid several millimeters away from the lid margin. They are often seen as a “nest” of 6-12 eyelashes in a compact bundle.
For ectopic cilia Dr. Gwin surgically removes these with an operating microscope. A plug or wedge of the conjunctiva, and under lying tissue, is removed with a small surgical blade. This area is then frozen with a 3mm cryo probe to destroy this abnormal follicle producing the lashes. Relief is instantaneous and reoccurrence is extremely rare.