Long, thick eyelashes are always in and fashionable. As beautiful as they are, fake eyelashes can cause eye infections, allergic reactions, and in some cases more serious eye problems.

To understand why fake eyelashes are a bad idea, you need to know the purpose of natural eyelashes.

The function of natural eyelashes is to reduce the flow of air in the eyes, to retain excess moisture and to filter sunlight. Their rounded shape and position are what help protect your eyes from these external elements.

Fake eyelashes can endanger your eyesight. This is because whenever there is another object near the eye, there is the potential for something to happen. The most common problems associated with wearing fake eyelashes include: eye injuries and infections, allergic reactions and damage to your natural eyelashes.

Eye infections

Infections can occur when bacteria accumulate under the eyelash glue and on the fake eyelash itself. If fake eyelashes are stored and reused, or left on a dirty surface before use, there is a risk of harmful bacteria and dirt getting into the eye. Infections can also result from forgetting to clean the eyelids after the fake eyelashes have been removed or if they are shared with someone, causing cross-contamination, which can lead to conjunctivitis.

Allergic reactions

Some people have an allergic reaction to the glue used to hold the eyelashes, but a small number may actually be allergic to the hairs used to make the artificial eyelashes. Allergic reactions to the eyelashes can cause burning, stinging, swelling or a rash. Severe allergic reactions require immediate referral to an ophthalmologist to prevent any vision loss or additional complications.

Eye injuries

Placing small objects near the eye always risks corneal injury. This can be quite serious if the fake eyelashes irritate the cornea or if the glue thickens and enters the eye.

How can eye problems associated with fake eyelashes be avoided?

The best solution to avoid eye problems associated with fake eyelashes is not to wear them, but if you do, protect your eyes by:

  • Limiting the amount of glue used
  • Avoiding eyelashes that are shiny or with jewelry
  • Removing the eyelashes extremely gently
  • Cleaning the eyelids after removing the eyelashes
  • Avoiding glue with formaldehyde
  • Never sharing eyelashes with others

Schedule an eye examination or online consultation immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms after wearing fake eyelashes:

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