FAQ: "Why Do My Eyes Get Bloodshot After Lash Extensions?"

Hey everyone! I wanted to address this question I received on my Instagram FAQ story. Bloodshot eyes are usually nothing to worry about after lash extensions and in most cases it is completely avoidable.

** Disclaimer: This post is only about temporary bloodshot eyes after a lash extension application. If you are experiencing eyelid swelling, itchiness, or pain you are having an allergic reaction or irritation from improper application and the information in this post does not apply to those situations. When in doubt, always consult with a physician. **

Reason #1: Your eyeball is exposed (open) during the service.

The adhesive used for lash extensions gives off harsh fumes and absorbs moisture. If your eyeball is exposed during application, the adhesive fumes will most likely irritate and dry out your sclera aka the whites of your eye. When you open your eyes at the end of the service, the area that was exposed will be irritated and bloodshot. This may continue to get worse for the next 24 hours, and should subside within 3-5 days, depending on the severity. It may also feel sore when you move your eyeball or touch it.

You may not even be aware that your eyes are open during the service. Eye anatomy plays a large roll - it is common in clients of Asian decent to not close their eyes completely during the service. Sometimes it is only one eye that doesn't close all the way (which is the case for me). If you are talking during the service or had a lot of caffeine, it is also common for your eyes to flutter and reveal the sclera.

Your lash artist should be checking your eyes for closure at the beginning of the service after applying eye pads, and double checking throughout the service. If your artist notices that your eye doesn't close all the way, she should use taping methods to force the eye to close. This will ensure that the eye is sealed and no adhesive fumes are getting in. If the open eye is due to talking, it may be best to avoid talking for the rest of the service. Use of a nano-mister every 15 minutes throughout the service will also help to reduce irritation and replenish moisture to the eye area in the event that a slightly open eye is unavoidable.

Reason #2: Eyepads or Tape Too Close or Touching Eyeball

When your lash artist uses an eyepad and/or tape to secure your bottom lashes, you should not feel anything rubbing against your eye. Your lash artist should make sure it is a safe distance from the lower waterline. If the eyepad or tape rubs against the sclera, it may cause bruising or in worst case, an abrasion. Talking, coughing, opening your eyes during the service, or oily skin may cause the pad to shift during the service even if it was applied properly. Your lash artist should be doing frequent pad and tape checks to ensure this hasn't happened, but you can help out by letting your artist know if anything changes or starts to feel uncomfortable. It is a quick fix to readjust and continue lashing. We would rather have you tell us than have you suffer, so please let us know as soon as possible so we can do something to fix the discomfort and prevent any issues.

What to do?

If you end up with bloodshot eyes after your lash service, there is usually no need to panic. Over the counter redness relief drops should help. I personally use Clear Eyes Maximim Redness Relief Eye Drops. If symptoms get significantly worse, puss or swelling occurs, or if you are very concerned you should make a trip to your doctor to make sure no serious abrasions or chemical burns have occurred. This is very rare, but not impossible. They may need to prescribe you prescription drops to speed up the healing. Removal of the lash extensions is not necessary and will not help reduce the redness, as the extensions themselves are not the issue in these cases.

Image of my own bloodshot eye after lash application. My right eye does not close all the way and is prone to irritation after my fills. I treat with OTC eye drops and symptoms are resolved within 3 days.

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