The Lasting Dryness Effects of Eyelash Extensions

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False Eyelash Extensions and Dry Eye

Are your eyes prone to dryness, redness, irritation, or watering? Eyelash extensions should definitely not be on your to do list. A new study followed the self-reported comfort and ocular surface health of 32 healthy, young adults (average age was 25) with no previous history of dry eye or ocular surface discomfort after eyelash extension application. Lashes were applied using a standard protocol: ethyl cyanoacrylate glue was used to adhere false lashes to the upper eyelid eyelashes 1 mm from the eyelid margin, and then the glue was set using a fan. The patients symptoms and ocular health was monitored over 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after getting eyelash extensions. 

The majority of patients (84%) experienced ocular irritation within 1 hour of getting eyelash extensions, the most common of which was reported as foreign body sensation (59.38%). These discomfort symptoms resolved at the 1 week follow-up for most patients. 

Ocular surface evaluation showed corneal staining (superficial punctate keratitis or erosions) was highest within 1 hour of lash extension application. While this corneal staining improved over the rest of the observation period, tear break up time (TBUT) was it's lowest compared to baseline at 1 week following lash extension application, and remained reduced even at the 1 month follow-up compared to baseline. 

Why do eyelash extensions cause dry eye? There are several theories:

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