York County Medicine Spring 2020 - 29

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

IN THE NEWS:

Eye Health Tip

False Eyelashes
Might Be Pretty...
But They Can Also Be
DANGEROUS
By: Catherine H. Bene, M.D., Ophthalmologist - Retinal Surgeon,
Advanced Eye Specialists, LLC

Y

our eyelashes protect your eyes by catching dust and other
debris. They also help shade your eyes from the harsh rays
of the sun. Many women, going all the way back to ancient
Egypt, have decorated their eyes in many ways and for different
reasons. Longer or extended eyelashes have been fashionable in
many societies and particularly within the performing arts. As
a result, "false eyelashes" or "extensions" have been around for a
long time. Most are applied in two different ways: By a glue or a
similar sticky substance placed against the eyelid or on top of the
existing eyelashes. Glues and these sticky substances often contain
chemicals that can be harmful irritants to your eyes; chemicals like
latex and/or formaldehyde. Reactions to these chemicals can range
from minor irritation to severe swelling. These glue-like substances
often pull out real lashes and where or when the glue-like
substance is not fully removed, dust, dead skin and bacteria can
be collected as a further threat to the eye, the eyelid and growth
of new, natural eyelashes (approx. 25% of eyelashes are naturally
replaced every few weeks).

Eyelashes glued to the surface of the eyelid should ALWAYS
be removed nightly. Adding glitter, feathers, paints or glueing tiny
LED light strips around one's eyes can all do more harm than the
glues used to apply lashes or extensions. Many of these unusual eye
features are manufactured in less-than-safe conditions in foreign
countries that have lower health and safety standards. Placing
tiny LED lights around or near the eye can do serious damage to
the retina and cause potential vision loss. ANY decorative items
that break loose and come in contact with the eye can do serious
damage to the cornea or the conjunctiva. Similarly, the tattooing
of eyeliner or any other ink on the eyebrow or near the eye can
result in a variety of irritants and problems. Tattoos on the surface
of the eye can puncture and infect the eye and result in loss of the
eye. Bottom Line: We get two eyes to last a lifetime. Please be very
careful about all forms of eye decoration.

SPRING 2020 | York County Medicine

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York County Medicine Spring 2020

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