Can Lash Extensions Cause Dry Eyes? Important Facts

Beauty trends come and go, but the need for longer, lusher lashes never goes out of style. What’s the answer to fuller, longer lashes? Eyelash extensions. But can lash extensions cause dry eyes? 

Do Lash Extensions Cause Dry Eyes

When it comes to lash extensions and dry eyes, go for a shorter lash length. Long lashes can create a breeze on the eyes, causing tears to evaporate more quickly, drying up the eyes and leading to dry eyes.

General Causes of Dry Eyes

When your eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep them moist, or when your tear flow system doesn’t operate properly, this can cause dry eyes. 

Other causes behind dry eye include:

  • Air conditioners, heaters, or other items in your environment that may dry out your tear film.
  • Antihistamines
  • Menopause/Aging
  • Eyelid problems that prevent your eyelids from closing properly
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Collagen vascular disorders 

All are conditions that can limit your ability to generate tears. 

The likelihood of developing these conditions rises with age. It’s also more prevalent among postmenopausal women. 

Symptoms Of Dry Eyes May Include

  • Redness of the eyes
  • a burning or stinging sensation in the eye 
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Hypersensitivity to light
  • A stinging, burning, or itchy feeling in your eyes
  • A sense of something in your eyes
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Watery eyes

 Dry eyes can be alleviated using prescription and lubricating eye drops.

Can Eyelash Extensions Cause Dry Eye?

Can Eyelash Extensions Cause Dry Eye

After your eyelash extension, have you noticed your eyes feeling dry? Some women may have reported that their eyelash extensions led to dry eyes, especially if you are going for the longer lash look. 

The more extended your lashes are, the more air can reach the ocular surface with each blink. Thereby, drying out the eyes more.

Other issues caused by eyelash extensions:

  • Infections
  • Natural eyelash thinning
  • Inflammation 
  • Allergic reaction

Symptoms Your Eyelash Extensions Are Irritating Your Eyes

Whether you’re thinking about getting lash extensions for the first time or have had them for a while, It’s critical to be aware of the potential risk of irritation or an allergic reaction. 

Symptoms sometimes do not occur right away. Then again, sometimes, they can appear only a few minutes after application. 

How can you tell if your eyelash extensions are the cause of your eye irritation?

Common Symptoms To Lookout for Are:

  • Redness
  • Tearing/watery eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Eye swelling

Allergic Reaction VS Irritation 

Eye irritation is not the same as having an allergic reaction to something. There are a few significant differences between the two:

Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction is a hypersensitive immune system response to an allergen. 

Most who have an allergic response find it in conjunction with the adhesive components in the glue or tape used.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

  • Allergic reactions can cause 
  • Puffy red eyes
  • Enlarged eyes
  • Eye itching

These signs and symptoms may not develop right away taking up to three days to detect any reaction.


Eye irritation can often be mistaken for an allergic reaction, but eye irritations usually get better over time (generally within 24 hours) while allergies don’t get better, sometimes even worse. 

Causes behind eye irritation can be:

  • The adhesive fumes enter the eye
  • You open your eyes during the treatment
  • Insufficient lash suite ventilation
  • Movement of gel pads under eyes

The results are red, irritated, swollen eyes. If you see improvement over time, you’ll know it might be eye irritation.

What To Do If Eyes Are Irritated From Eyelash Extensions?

Lash extensions are bacteria breeding grounds.

Thus, not removing eye makeup as thoroughly, or not wanting to rub your lashes for fear of them falling out, creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow on the eyelid border. 

Bacteria can then begin to irritate your eyes. 

If you find your eyes becoming mildly irritated after having lash extensions applied, there are a few things you could do at home to help. Such as:

  • Use oral antihistamine products
  • Apply cold compresses
  • Use allergy eye drops
  • Use topical hydrocortisone cream

If any symptoms worsen and last longer than 24 to 48 hours, you should see your physician.

Can I Wear False Eyelashes With Dry Eye?

Can you still have glamorous lashes even if you have dry eyes? If you are going for the false lashes route, ophthalmologists advise against it. 

Did you know your meibomian glands rest right below your eyelashes? 

These glands produce oils that help coat the tear film and your eyelashes, preventing them from evaporating out of your eyes—placing false lashes on where those glands reside can risk damaging those glands more. 

So, wearing false eyelashes that use a glue adhesive is not recommended. 

If you’re going to do false lashes, try an ophthalmologist-approved eyelash kit.

Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions can still be used if you have dry eyes as long as you care for them properly and you’ve had your dry eyes treatment, and your symptoms have decreased. 

Be mindful, though, and go for a shorter lash length to prevent your extensions from exasperating your dry eyes.

What Can Go Wrong With Eyelash Extensions?

What Can Go Wrong With Eyelash Extensions

While there are definite benefits to having eyelash extensions added to your lashes, there are some drawbacks also. 

Some disadvantages of eyelash extensions include:

  • Corneal infection
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Temporary eyelash loss
  • Dry eye
  • Allergic reaction
  • Risk of ripping off in your sleep
  • It can affect the health of your natural lashes
  • Development of styes
  • Blepharitis

Blepharitis and Eyelash Extensions

Blepharitis typically happens when the tiny oil glands of the internal eyelid become inflamed. 

Symptoms consist of red, itchy eyelids, which could appear greasy and crusted. Dry eyes are also a symptom. 

Blepharitis is often a common side effect in those who use eyelash extensions due to not remembering to clean their eyelids and lashes every day. 

Lash extensions can build up unpleasant makeup, dead skin, oil, and dust. 

How To Treat Blepharitis With Eyelash Extensions

A doctor will likely recommend at-home treatments and over-the-counter special eyelid cleansers such as a hypochlorous acid solution. 

They are gentle and won’t damage your lash extensions. In addition, you can apply a warm compress to your eyes and follow up with a gentle eye massage to help open up the blocked oil glands. 

Another option is Artificial Tears. Your doctor can recommend it, and it is available without a prescription to help treat the dryness that accompanies blepharitis.

They can also do the following procedures:

  • BlephEx (electrochemical lid margin debridement): This process rids the eyelids of mites, microorganisms, and the biofilm they produce. Meibomian glands that are clogged are also opened.
  • Treatment with thermal pulsation (Lipiflow): Melts any obstructing debris in the Meibomian glands.
  • Intense pulse light treatment (IPL) helps remove congested glands in the eyelids.
  • Antibiotics, either topical or oral, may be required in severe cases of blepharitis.

How Do I Clean My Eyelash Extensions?

While lash extensions are convenient and time-saving, they require care and should be cleaned. 

If you don’t wash your lashes, oil will build up and deteriorate the eyelash glue, resulting in the loss of your new lash extensions. 

The best way to keep your lash extensions looking great is: 

  1. Use oil-free foaming cleaners, Micellar water, or a unique eyelash extension cleanser. All are oil-free and gentle so that they won’t break down the adhesive glue of the extensions.
  2. Pat lashes dry
  3. Using an old mascara wand or micro brush, brush and shape your lashes to your liking. 

Frequently Asked questions

Do Eyedrops Ruin Lash Extensions?

Eye drops are safe to use with lash extensions. You may want to wait at least 4 hours after your eyelash treatment to be safe, and be sure to apply the drops and not get them around the eye or on the lashes. Also, avoid eye drops that contain saline, oils, glycols, or glycerin. 

Can Eyelash Glue Damage Your Eyes?

Yes, If you get eyelash glue in your eyes, it can scrape your cornea and cause scarring. Glue fumes may also irritate and burn your eyes. Allergic responses to the bond can occur in and around the eyes.

Can False Eyelashes Cause Dry Eyes?

Better recheck that long lash look. According to a new study, wearing long, lush false eyelashes may cause more air and dust to enter the eyes, thus drying them out, leading to dry eye syndrome.