Who wouldn’t love having long, fluttering, effortless lashes? As beautiful as eyelash extensions may be, they can cause eye infections, allergic reactions, and in some cases, more serious eye problems. Here are a few things to consider before wearing false eyelashes.

Eyelashes Protect Our Eyes

Our natural eyelashes are very important! They are designed to reduce airflow into the eyes, keep out sweat and rain, and filter sunlight. The eye’s moisture is a protective shield, but when too much airflow enters the eyes, the moisture can evaporate, and dust and deposits can blow into the eye. The eyes are vulnerable to bacteria and debris, and you should never touch your eyes with unwashed hands, dirty makeup brushes, or foreign objects if you want to avoid injury or infection.

So What Are The Risks of Wearing Fake Eyelashes?

If you wear fake eyelashes or are considering doing so, it is important to know that anytime you have a foreign object near your eye there is a risk factor. The most common problems caused by false lashes are:

Eye Infections

Infections can occur when bacteria collect under the eyelash glue and on the false eyelash itself. If you store and reuse your false lashes, or drop your eyelash onto a surface before applying, there is a risk of harmful bacteria and dirt entering the eye. Infections can also result from forgetting to clean your eyelids after removing fake lashes, or from sharing them with a friend, causing cross-contamination, which can lead to styes or conjunctivitis.

Allergic Reactions

Some people have an allergic reaction to the glue used to hold lashes in place, as it often contains formaldehyde, but a small number may actually be allergic to the fiber used to make the fake eyelashes themselves. Allergic reactions to lashes can cause stinging, burning, swelling, or a rash. Severe allergic reactions require a visit to the emergency room, to prevent any loss of vision or further complications.

Damage to Your Natural Lashes

Unfortunately, fake eyelashes may also cause temporary or permanent loss of your real eyelashes. Taking the fake lashes off can break your natural lashes, and even damage the hair follicle. When this happens, your own lashes can fail to grow back.

Eye Injuries

Putting small objects near the eye always risks corneal injury. This can be pretty serious if, for example, the fake eyelashes irritate the cornea or if the glue thickens and falls into the eye scratching the cornea.

How Can I Avoid Eye Problems Associated With False Eyelashes?

The best solution to avoiding the eye problems associated with fake eyelashes is to choose not to wear them, but if you must, try to keep your eyes safe by:

  • Limiting the amount of glue used
  • Avoiding lashes with glitter or jewels
  • Being extremely gentle when removing the lashes
  • Cleaning the eyelid after removing the lashes
  • Avoiding glue with formaldehyde
  • Never sharing your lashes with others

What Are the Signs I Have an Eye Problem?

If you develop any of the following symptoms after wearing false eyelashes, see an eye doctor immediately for treatment:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Discharge
  • Fever
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling

Contact Your Austin and Kyle, TX Eye Doctor Today!

The eye doctors at the Howerton Eye are medical and surgical professionals that treat everything from minor to very serious eye conditions. With locations in Austin, Southwest Austin, and Kyle, TX, the Howerton Eye stands ready to help with all of your eye care needs. Request an appointment or contact us today!