The American Academy of Ophthalmology cautions consumers about the dangers of cosmetic eyelash extensions and the adhesives used to apply them to eyelids. Specific dangers of using these extensions include:
- Infection of the cornea;
- Infection of the eyelid;
- Swelling of the eyelid; and
- Permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes.
A 2013 article published in Consumer Reports titled, "Eyelash extensions can pose health risks," discusses several cases in which patients experienced infections and allergic reactions to formaldehyde-based adhesives used with eyelash extensions.
Given the risks, the American Academy of Ophthalmology urges consumers to use caution if considering eyelash extensions. For consumers who choose to use eyelash extensions, the Academy offers the following advice:
- Ensure that the aesthetician is certified and working at a reputable establishment.
- Check that the aesthetician practices adequate hand washing and proper hygiene.
- Check the eyelash adhesive ingredients before use.
Anyone who experiences an infection, allergic reaction or other irritation from using eyelash extensions or other eye products should immediately see an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions.
For more eye safety and hygiene information, visit www.geteyesmart.org.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.