Research presented recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology suggests that when lashes are longer, they actually funnel air to the eye’s surface, and that can make them vulnerable to dryness and dirt.
Check out this article by TODAY Health which goes over the facts about lash extension VS Dry eye:
The optimal lash length for protection? One-third the width of the eyes, the researchers discovered.
They first measured eyelash lengths in the animal kingdom and soon came up with an intriguing result. No matter whether it was a giraffe or a hedgehog, the length of the eyelashes was always one-third the width of the eyes.
To better understand this specialized ratio, they constructed a model eye with different lash lengths that they could subject to breezes in a wind tunnel.
Lashes with the typical one-third ratio tended to protect the eye from drying and dirt by creating a zone of stagnant, or still, air just in front of the eye. With longer lashes, no stagnant zone resulted.
In fact, the longer lashes seemed to have the opposite effect, channeling airflow directly onto the eye.
With the longer lashes, the artificial eye surface was hit by more particles and also tended to dry out more because the direct flow of air led to evaporation.
Whether this effect actually occurs in women with extensions is something that could easily be tested, Amador said. If extensions actually cause the eye to dry out more, you would notice more blinking.
Dr. Deepinder Dhaliwal says she sees plenty of cases of dry eye in the many patients who lengthen eyelashes with mascara, as well as in those who use extensions.
“Dry eye is multifactorial, but I think this could be a contributing factor,” said Dhaliwal, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “We know that having increased airflow around the eyes negatively impacts patients.
“This is a very interesting study because it talks about optimal eyelash length and shows that beyond that, the eye actually has more airflow onto the eyeball, and possibly along with that contact with dust or other particles.”
While dry eye could be an issue, that’s not the worst fallout from eyelash extensions, said Dr. Rosalind Vo, a corneal surgeon at the Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
One of the biggest problems is the glue used to stick them to the eyelids, Vo said. “It has high levels of formaldehyde and benzoic acid, both of which are harmful to the cornea,”
she added. “On top of that, as the eyelashes grow out, the extensions tend to point towards the cornea and you can get corneal abrasions.”
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