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Eye doctor warns of ‘eyelash bling’

As prom season ramps up, a UC Irvine Health eye doctor warned teens against going too batty with “eyelash bling.”

False lashes, extenders and other accessories for bedazzling peepers can lead to severe allergic reactions that can cause permanent damage to eyes, Dr. Marjan Farid, director of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery at UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, said in a news release.

She added that the chemical-laden glues used to attach them can also cause infections.

Teens who use such products, she said, are “susceptible to eyelid infections that can cause meibomian gland disease, which may lead to chronic dry eyes, and blepharitis” — chronic inflammation of the eyelid.


Farid advised teens to look out for symptoms like eyelid swelling, red eyes, pain or trouble seeing.

If they’re experiencing any of those, according to the statement, they should “immediately visit an ophthalmologist before permanent damage occurs.”

Furthermore, consumers who assume that eyelash bling is safe because it’s easily available online and in stores should open their eyes, Farid said. Such products are not tested or certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


— Jill Cowan

Twitter: @jillcowan