Health experts have shown that blepharitis (eyelid inflammation) cannot be completely cured but there are ways to manage it. It could largely be caused by using eyelash extensions. Aside from that, it can also occur when people are battling other skin conditions or allergies. You have to take precautionary measures to avoid severe issues or consult your doctor.
Aside from eyelash extensions, there are other factors that could result in blepharitis. But, it appears that it is not an uncommon phenomenon for people to contract blepharitis from eyelash extensions.
Therefore, this piece will unveil some crucial details about blepharitis and the possible treatment for those in such a condition.
In the United States alone, there are more than 200,000 cases of blepharitis every year. Health experts show that eyelash extensions are one of the most common causes of blepharitis. This is because numerous individuals with thin or small natural eyelashes use these fake eyelashes or extensions to make their eyes look bigger and fuller.
It’s, therefore, essential to note that this famous fashion trend is characterized by a wide range of risks (where blepharitis happens to be the most prominent).
What Is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is an eyelid inflammation that affects the eyelashes and a condition that can impact how the eye produces tears. People experience it when the small oil glands of their inner eyelids are inflamed. Also, it usually occurs when people are battling with other skin conditions, allergies, or engaging in the use of fake eyelashes.
It’s a condition that can either be chronic or acute. In many cases, people experience chronic adult blepharitis. Besides, blepharitis is commonly seen as chronic eyelid inflammation.
Blepharitis is a severe condition. As a chronic illness, it can last for many years (even for a lifetime) if not properly treated. However, even though the treatment could be of great help, the National Eye Institute shows that the condition is incurable – it doesn’t go away completely.
Possible causes of Blepharitis
The causes of blepharitis are yet to be properly understood and fully unraveled. But they can still be traced to eyelash extensions and the other number of causes, including:
- Rosacea: This refers to a skin condition characterized by facial redness
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This skin condition affects the scalp, leading to dandruff (in the scalp and eyebrows), scaly patches, and red skin.
- Parasites or Demodex eyelash mites
- An inflammatory reaction to bacteria
- Infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV)
- Dysfunction of the Meibomian glands: The Meibomian glands stay along the rim of the eyelids. The oil substance they produce helps to prevent the eye’s film of tears from evaporating. When these glands become dysfunctional, it can lead to dry eye, which may contribute to the development of blepharitis.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
The symptoms of blepharitis can impact both the posterior and anterior portions of the eyelid. The inner edge where the eyeball and the eyelid meet is the posterior, whereas the front edge where the eyelid and the eyelashes join up is the anterior part.
Blepharitis symptoms are more conspicuous in the mornings; therefore, you may want to check your eyes after waking up and see if you have this condition.
The common symptoms of blepharitis you should watch out for include:
- Red eyes
- Itchy eyelids
- Watery and irritated eyes
- Photophobia (oversensitivity to light)
- A gritty feeling in the eyes
- An inconsistent decreased vision
- Feeling like there is a foreign object in the eye
- Crusting and flaking at the base of the eyelashes
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Blepharitis symptoms are similar to other eye conditions such as dry eye and allergies.
- The commonly occurring symptoms of blepharitis are the feeling of a foreign object within the eye and redness.
- The best indications that you may specifically be suffering from blepharitis are if you have crusting/ flaking and your symptoms are heavily concentrated (particularly around your lower eyelid).
- The symptoms of blepharitis are inconsistent (they do appear and disappear).
- The condition affects both eyes equally
Dangers of eyelash extensions
Undoubtedly, doing eyelash extensions is one of the biggest fashion trends in the present age. However, it is worth noting that sometimes fashions could negatively affect people’s health.
With eyelash extensions, you can make your eyes look bigger and wider. Yes, it may look pretty on you, but you may need to be careful and ensure that you are safe sometimes as you use them.
This is because they can involve some risks, such as allergic reactions to the glue used during the process and erosion of the inner part of the eyelid, which could lead to permanent damage.
Health experts show that eyelash extensions could be one of the leading causes of blepharitis.
Some of the most common effects of using eyelash extensions include:
- Irritation and redness
- Allergic reaction
- Inflammation and swelling
- Loss of eyelashes
After doing eyelash extensions, they can keep bacteria and dirt very close to your eye. Due to this, you may experience some serious infections such as conjunctivitis and dry eye.
In addition, some glues contain formaldehyde (carcinogen)– Which can lead to severe reactions, which later can cause oozing and crust along the eyelid.
Also, you are likely to lose all your natural and normal lashes when you use fake eyelashes. Irritation can cause madarosis or lead to traction alopecia – a condition where your lashes fall out because of too much tension.
You should note that tension and pull on the lashes can damage your hair follicles, affecting the production of new hair.
Treating Blepharitis from eyelash extensions
The next rapid step after noticing the symptoms of blepharitis is to find the possible ways to get the condition treated.
One of the most effective ways is to keep the eyelids clean and ensure they are free of crust. To clean your eyelids and get rid of crusts daily, you can use water and a gentle cleanser such as baby shampoo.
Following the steps below to do it properly:
- Use water and soap to wash your hands thoroughly.
- Mix water (warm) with a gentle cleanser.
- Dip a soft and clean cotton swab or cloth in the mixture.
- Press the cotton swab or cloth against your eye (closed) for a few minutes. This will help loosen the crusts and keep the oil glands from clogging.
- Rub the cotton or cloth gently back and forth, concentrating more on where the eyelashes meet the eyelids.
- Then rinse your eye with clean water.
- Repeat the steps on the other eye with a new cotton swab or cloth.
- Consult your doctor to know the right option of treatment for you since there are other treatment options such as the use of steroid eye drops (to control swelling, redness, and irritation), medicines that combat infection (such as pills, ointments, or antibiotic eye drops), or treating health problems such as dandruff or rosacea, causing your blepharitis
Tips to avoid Blepharitis from eyelash extensions
Below are tips that can help you avoid blepharitis from eyelash extensions:
- Simply avoid getting eyelash extensions or ensure you clean them at least twice every day with lash cleanser (Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser) and hypochlorous acid lid.
- Use it occasionally (once in a while)
- Do it with a certified aesthetician who has sanitary equipment and practices good hygiene (such as washing hands and wearing gloves).
- Check the ingredient list of the glue to be used for the fake lashes. Look for potential carcinogens and allergens.
- If you notice any symptoms of infections, ensure you see your ophthalmologist or optometrist as soon as possible.
How do you tell if your eyelash extensions are infected?
You can tell if your eyelash extensions are infected if you have symptoms of an eye infection such as stinging or burning eyes, itchy eyelids, irritated and watery eyes, red eyes, photophobia (oversensitivity to light), crusting, and flaking at the base of the eyelashes, decreased vision, and a gritty feeling in the eyes.
Ensure you see your eye doctor immediately you notice any of these symptoms.
Can I get eyelash extensions if I have blepharitis?
Since eyelash extensions can cause blepharitis, you are advised to avoid using them if you have a history of blepharitis. They could lead to the reoccurrence of the condition and, in fact, make it worse.
Why do my eyelids itch after eyelash extensions?
Why your eyelids itch after eyelash extensions may be because an allergy occurs.
An allergy usually leads to swelling and itching of the eyelids. You may see this symptom within the first three days after placing them. With this, you may need to have them removed.
To wrap it up, eyelash extensions may be hazardous, being one of the leading causes of blepharitis.
So, you are advised to follow the steps provided in this content to treat the condition, but if you’re yet to contract it and feel concerned about it, ensure you change your eye makeup products from time to time, clean your eyelids, and avoid using extensions.