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False eyelashes, badly attached, can cause infections – but not blindness

“Just take a look at how Eye lashes got a lady blind,” says a graphic posted on Facebook in Nigeria. “SHS Graduate Goes Blind After fixing Artificial Eyelashes.”

The graphic shows a woman with long eyelashes, with an inset image of a red and seemingly infected eye.

The post has been shared more than 29,000 times. But can wearing false eyelashes cause blindness?

Chemicals, bad hygiene can cause reactions

“Artificial lashes are foreign bodies,” Ebele Uzodike, a professor of optometry in Nigeria’s Abia State University health sciences faculty, told Africa Check.

“Complications in insertion and removal can make the eyes react – such as if the glue used to attach the eyelashes enters the eyes by accident. If these complications aren’t treated quickly and effectively, they can damage the eyes.”

She said complications were more likely if chemicals came into contact with the central part of the eye. “Hygiene also comes in place. The eye is delicate.”

But Uzodike added: “I have not heard of any report or research that found artificial lashes could cause blindness. If they were harmful, regulatory bodies would have put an end to their production and importation into the country.” – Africa Check


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