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Eyelashes are crucial for visual function, protection, and reduction of dry eye symptoms.

 If you’ve ever longed to have long, thick eyelashes, this article is for you. Unfortunately, for those with dry eyes, using loads of mascara is out of the question because the ingredients can be irritating, cause allergies, and lead to more inflammation of the eyes.  

 The US lash extension industry is growing and is currently greater than $900 million a year. People pay between $100 and $400 per visit for the product and service. Fill-ins every 6 to 8 weeks are $50 to $170, depending on how many are needed.

Eye Problems caused by eyelash extensions. 

Eyelash extensions can cause inflammation of the eyelids and ocular surface. Longer lashes have a fan effect, increasing the amount of airflow to the ocular surface with every blink. Eyelash extension causes your eyes to dry out faster, leading to irritation and possible damage to the ocular surface.

Eyelash extensions trap debris and bacteria close to your lash line. The bacteria causes an inflammatory reaction of the lid margin, also known as blepharitis. Symptoms include itchy eyelids, a gritty sensation of the eyes, burning, redness, sensitivity to light, sticky eyes, and possible blurred vision. If left untreated, this can increase your risk of developing styes, infections, and dry eyes. Clean your lashes with a proper eyelid and eyelash cleanser regularly to prevent bacterial overgrowth. 

One of the biggest problems is the glue used to stick them to the eyelids. The adhesive has high levels of formaldehyde and benzoic acid, both of which are harmful to the cornea. On top of that, as the eyelashes grow out, the extensions tend to point towards the cornea, and you can get corneal abrasions.”

What are dry eyes

  The majority of people over the age of 65 have dry eye syndrome. And women tend to be more than men. It’s more common in women due to hormonal changes. Other dry eye causes include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid issues, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and blepharitis.
  • Certain medications.
  • Contact lenses.
  • Environmental factors, such as smoke or dust.
  • Excessive visual demands.

 Dry Eye Treatment Before Eye Lash Extensions. 

The most effective dry Eye Treatment is with TheraLife

Theralite has a dry eye treatment protocol that works for 86% of first-time users. It is an oral dry eye treatment formula that restores and revives tear functions from the inside out.  

To learn more

To learn how it works, click here

How are eyelash extensions done?

You may think that eyelash extensions are the next best option for fuller lashes, but this is not always the case. Lash extensions come in many different forms, including less expensive synthetic false lashes, silk lashes, those made of mink, and even magnetic lashes. Although some synthetic lashes can be bought in a drugstore and applied at home, other forms are readily available for application in salons worldwide.

Once you’ve selected your type of eyelashes in a salon, the lashes are applied one at a time using semi-permanent glue. Sadly, this glue often contains formaldehyde, latex, and other harsh ingredients that can be horrible for sensitive eyes. You can tie some lashes onto your own, but these are still not free of complications. If you want to have a complete set of lashes applied, you’re in for a two-hour appointment with touch-ups recommended every few weeks. If you only wish to have a minor enhancement, you could also have them apply just a few lashes. 

Complications from eyelash extensions 

the most common issue (and one that can contribute to almost all of the conditions mentioned above) is blepharitis. By definition, blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis can occur for many reasons, but the most likely culprit, in this case, is bacteria build-up. As bacteria increases around your natural eyelashes and extensions, the bacteria multiplies and creates biofilm. Biofilm begins to invade the lash follicles and can soon affect the meibomian glands of the eyelids.

When this happens, blepharitis is in full swing. It is often difficult to manage once it hits a certain level of severity. The answer to this? Prevent bacteria and biofilm in the first place by seeing the proper specialist (lash technician) and following a good eyelid hygiene routine. 

The first step to preventing complications from lash extensions is to make sure you’re at a salon with licensed lash technicians. These now how to avoid infection and complications when applying your lashes. Make sure they use a better (less harsh) adhesive. 

Besides adhesives, it is generally accepted not to use alcohol or oil-based makeup remover products on your eyelashes. Your eyelashes can fall off.

Key to success with eyelash extensions

 While eyelash extensions have become a commonplace cosmetic procedure – there are still short and long-term risks to consider. If you have or are contemplating eyelash extensions, make sure to; 

  • Always make sure that your aesthetician is certified and follows hygienic practices
  • Keep your lashes clean
  • Avoid getting extensions that are too long or too thick

  If I have dry eyes, can I still have eyelash extensions?

Yes, once your received your dry eye treatment and you no longer have dry eye symptoms.

 Here are some tips-

  1. Opt to go shorter on lash length. A good rule of thumb: Don’t increase the extension length by more than one-third the length of the eye’s width. Too- long lashes can cause a ‘breeze’ on the eye that may evaporate tears more quickly and dry the eye. Also, the more lashes, the greater the chance they’ll catch environmental pollutants that can exacerbate dry eyes, 
  2. Use fewer extensions. Consider using a handheld nebulizer and instruct clients to keep their eyes closed throughout the service and a few minutes after completion. “The cyanoacrylate will try to use the eye’s moisture to cure if the eye is open slightly and, since the nebulizer instantly cures, it won’t pull moisture from the skin or eyes that can irritate correctly put in their eye drops. Conditions such as blepharitis can often coexist. Washing the eyelids can help to improve both conditions,” 

Stop- don’t do eyelash extensions if you have these symptoms. 

If you have any of the bulleted symptoms, Do not proceed with eyelash extensions. 

  • Red eyes
  • A gritty, sandy sensation as if something is in their eyes
  • Burning or stinging
  • An overabundance of tears
  • A stringy discharge

 Proper care and upkeep will ensure success.

  People need to educate themselves regarding the risks of eyelash extensions and proper upkeep for daily care to keep them healthy for a lifetime. 

  The reality is many women love eyelash extensions because:

  1. You wake up with full, long, dark eyelashes every single day.
  2. You can reduce mascara use.
  3. You can save time in the morning getting ready.
  4. They are customizable and look natural.
  5. They can last six to eight weeks.
  6. They can change how you feel about yourself.

The risks involved are few if taken care of properly. Some of the risks are:

  1. A very slight risk of traction alopecia (losing eyelashes) if the lashes are too large and heavy and not properly cared for. 
  2. Infection, which is most often a result of poor application and improper care.
  3. Allergic reaction to the glue (the FDA does not regulate eyelash extensions and glue) or any products used during application.
  4. Fibers can come off the lashes and get stuck to the conjunctiva and pieces of the glue (most often, this results from the patient pulling, tugging, or rubbing the eyelashes).

Tips for success

  1. Use a reputable salon.
  2. Be sure the technician washes hands between clients.
  3. Be sure that the technician wears a mask.
  4. Use sanitary pillow covers.
  5. Sterilize all tools. 
  6. Glue used should not contain formaldehyde.
  7. Do not let the technician go too long or too thick with the lashes (make them look natural).
  8. Keep the shape of the curve of the lashes natural (if too curved, it can induce dryness due to changing of lid function)
  9. Adjust 7 and 8 above at your fill-in visit, depending on the experience following the application.
  10. Use an eyelash cleanser that does not break down the glue.

Magnetic Eye Lash Extensions

There are magnetic eyelash extensions that do not use chemicals and glue- Remove these magnetic lashes and clean your eyelids extensively. 

Magnetic eyelashes can be a better option for those who desire to wear lash extensions. These lashes make use of tiny magnets on the eyelashes combined with magnetic eyeliner. The eyeliner uses iron oxides, which are known to be magnetic. This option is not only quick and easy, but you’re also able to remove them at night. You’ll be releasing the eyeliner and cleansing your eyelids and lashes every single night, which helps prevent bacteria build-up and eyelid issues. The lashes also don’t attach to your natural lashes, so there’s minimal risk of damage to your natural lashes. 

Opulence MD lashes use a healthier magnetic eyeliner along with smaller magnets than the traditional magnetic lashes you’ll find in the drugstore. Although they’re not perfect, they’re a safer alternative to lash extensions. Dr. Goodwin has tried these lashes on many individuals, including those with allergies, dry eyes, contact lenses, and sensitive eyes in general. She’s found great success with them and has only had a handful of people who have seen reactions with them. 

The natural eyelashes do have a purpose, and they’re the first line of defense for eye protection. Those on some glaucoma medications are prone to longer, fuller eyelashes that can be problematic. People taking these medications may notice more blepharitis, tangling of the eyelashes, and even more significant lash loss. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to long eyelashes.


It is also imperative to keep the eyelids and lashes extremely clean when you have lash extensions. They can breed bacteria and cause overall inflammation and nasty infections, such as styes. We recommend using a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser each morning and evening for the best results. We highly recommend Avenova.  

Keep your dry eyes at bay with TheraLife. We are here to help. Call us toll-free 1-877-917-1989 or email to :


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