Young man has allergic reaction after eyelash extensions and gets ‘zombie eyes’

The procedure was done in July so she could attend her high school prom.

The procedure was done in July so she could attend her high school prom.

Photo: Playback/ TikTok: @haley.fetzer_

A 17-year-old American girl suffered a severe allergic reaction after undergoing an eyelash extension procedure. In an interview with an American newspaper, Haley Fetzer reported that the reaction left her eyes swollen and coughing up mucus, and, according to her, her eyes looked like “zombie eyes”.

“Every time I blinked, a little goo came out of my eyes. I thought I would go blind,” said the young woman, who also reported a lot of pain in the region.

The procedure, done in July so she could go to her high school prom, is quite common here in Brazil, but it’s not risk-free. According to physician Marina Roizenblatt, an ophthalmologist specializing in surgical retina, the glue used in stretching can cause irritations that incur redness, swelling and itching.

Although eyelashes are often associated with charm in the look, the doctor points out that these strands are not in the eyes for aesthetic purposes.

“The eyelashes exist as a protective mechanism for the eye, which is a very delicate organ in the body. Its primary function is to prevent foreign bodies from falling on the ocular surface”, explains Roizenblatt.

In addition to this mechanical protection, eyelashes help the eye maintain the tear film. This liquid is produced by a set of glands and cells, and acts to defend against infections and to keep our eyes moist, lubricated and nourished through the blinking mechanism.

These glands are located at the root of the eyelashes, precisely the place where the chemicals that glue the synthetic material of an extension are placed.

“You start to clog these glands and the tear film has a bad quality”, explains the doctor, who also guides medical care at the first sign of eye discomfort, such as redness or impaired vision.

“Only the doctor will know how to determine the real cause and indicate an appropriate treatment”, he adds.

No indiscriminate use of eye drops

Consultation with an ophthalmologist should be the first attitude in the face of symptoms of irritation, and not the indiscriminate use of eye drops without a prescription. Marina Roizenblatt, specialist in surgical retina, points out that not all eye drops are the same or are suitable for all cases.

“Each one has an active principle, so eye drops are not all the same and only the ophthalmologist is able to say which treatment is appropriate for a patient”, he reinforces.

Another tip that the doctor gives is to avoid very definitive aesthetic procedures right away. “Reversible procedures are simpler to treat in the event of an eventual surgery,” she explains.

“Each person has a different reality. The fact that someone has had an aesthetic procedure, or uses a type of cosmetic, in the periocular region without any reaction, is no guarantee that you will also tolerate it well”, he concludes.

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