Makeup surely boost the self-esteem of women and it is a common practice to wash it off before going to bed. However, some women forget about it and it’s quite okay if it happened once, or overnight and just wash it off in the morning.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the 50-year-old mother who almost got blind for wearing her mascara for 25 years and never washes her face before going to bed.
Theresa Lynch, from Sydney, needed a medical attention after an uncomfortable sensation beneath her eyelids with irritation and discharge.
The 50-year-old housekeeper was shaken when doctors discovered she had hard calcified bumps, known as concretions, under her eyelids.
The concretions can make her blind, that made doctors put her into 90-minute procedure to remove them.
The seriousness of Theresa’s case ended up as a case study in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Lynch admitted that she wore heavy mascara for 25 years with “inadequate removal.”
According to Theresa, she started feeling a strange sensation as if something was lodged under her eyelids. ‘[The lumps] were embedded so deep that particles were building up on top of each other’, she explained.
‘I was so uncomfortable. My eyelids were swollen and heavy because I left it for so long. When Dr Robaei pulled my eyelid back, she said: “Oh my god.. In my whole career I have seen anything this”.
‘She could see the whites of my eyes were glassy and bloodshot.’
Lynch also added, ‘I had fallen into a bad habit of wearing a lot of makeup and not washing it off. I should never have let it get this far. It’s so important to properly take your makeup off every single night. You can’t miss a single day.’
Dr Robaei, who is Consultant Ophthalmologist at Forest Eye Surgery, found multiple dark spots said: ‘Every time Theresa was blinking these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision.
‘If the scratch on the surface of the eye got infected, there is a risk this could be a potentially blinding but that would be rare.
‘It was certainly disabling. She has suffered permanent scarring on her eyelid and the surface of her cornea.
‘The symptoms are like somebody throwing a handful of sand in your eye, it’s constantly irritating.’
She added: ‘Not many women are treating the removal of their mascara seriously. You must be meticulous.
‘This was an amazing case, I’d never seen anything like it. But this is a risk not many people are aware of.’
A biopsy (pictured is a microscopic view of the woman’s eyelid tissue) found that over the years, tiny pieces of mascara had become lodged in her eyelids.
The study was published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Dr. Rebecca Taylor, an ophthalmologist and spokesperson for the AAO said: “The concretions got embedded in the conjunctiva and it went deeper into the subconjunctival layer, but you could still see it, sort of like a tattoo. She basically had these rough things stuck on the underside of her upper eyelid so every time she closed her eyes it would scratch her eyeball, particularly the cornea.”
Meanwhile, Prof. John Dart from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology had the following to say: “Mascara, like many cosmetics, contains a lot of components, many of which are potentially toxic: Carbon black or iron oxide pigment to darken lashes; a polymer to form a film that coats lashes; a preservative; and thickening waxes or oils such as lanolin, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, castor oil, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax.”
“It isn’t a big deal if you sleep with your makeup on for one night. You should, however, make a habit out of washing your makeup off before bedtime. He also says that you should not share your mascara with others, he added.
It seems Lynch has learned her lesson the hard way and sends chilling warning to all makeup enthusiasts.