A Student Went Temporarily Blind After Getting Eyelash Extensions

Photo Credits: Brainsil/ Shutterstock | Image Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

A couple weeks ago, 20-year-old Megan Rixson posted a video to Twitter warning girls about an eyelash extension that went very wrong.

In the now-viral video, Rixson is seen crying, showing off her swollen, red eyes. In the caption, she writes that she temporarily lost her sight for two hours and that her vision continued to be blurred following the appointment.

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The reason for all this side effects? Rixson suspects that the technician used nail glue instead of eyelash glue when applying her individual lash extensions.


Oculoplastic surgeon Keshini Parbhu, MD. explains that nail glue is essential superglue. "Strong adhesives can strip the epithelium, or surface, of the eye. This is extremely painful because the cornea has a lot nerve fibers and cause decreased vision, tearing and sensitivity to light."

Eyelash glue may be a bit more mild, but oculoplastic surgeon Jasmine Mohadjer, MD says all three are essential the same thing, using cyanoacrylates as the adhesive. "Furthermore, there is no regulation on what glue is used, where it is manufactures and what additives and preservatives are used."

The student told BuzzFeed news that her eyes were stinging during the appointment, but they told her not to worry. They said the stinging was pretty normal and she needed to keep holding her eyes open.

"It was burning so much my eyes were naturally closing, but she kept telling me to hold them open," Rixson told BuzzFeed. "After she was done, I sat up on the bed and couldn’t open them. I said, this isn’t normal, but she kept saying it was."

About two hours after getting them done, she went to a walk-in clinic where they gave her eye drops and an eye wash to treat them. However, she says her eyes are still recovering. "Occasionally the left eye blurs and both are a tiny bit sore but are getting better every day," she told BuzzFeed.

There isn't really a full-proof way to avoid something like this from happening, but Dr. Parbhu says to make sure you go to an establishment that uses proper supplies and practices good hygiene. "Also make sure you go to someone who is trained and licensed in the application of lash extensions and that they are a certified aesthetician or cosmetologist. If you are at all concerned you should not feel uncomfortable asking to see the lashes, the glue and sterilized forceps prior to getting the extensions." 

Although eyelash extensions are becoming more and more popular, they aren't necessarily good for your eyes. "There is added weight to the lids which affects blink dynamics," says Dr. Parbhu. "Also the glue that is used can form crusting along the base of the lashes." 

"People should be very carful about the things they do around their eyes by non-medical personal," says Dr. Mohadjer. "They can really cause longterm complications and vision loss." 

Eyelash extensions do look beautiful, but it's important before you decide to get them that you know the possible risks involved. 

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