Graphic images published by the American Academy of Opthamology highlights effects of improperly removing your mascara

According to the case study, published by the American Academy of Opthamology, a 50-year-old Australian woman called Theresa Lynch developed an eye condition after failing to properly remove her eye makeup for 25 years.

Every day she had applied a heavy coating of mascara, then had consistently failed and adequately cleaning her lashes.

After years of not washing her eye
makeup off correctly, she went to the doctor complaining of a strange feeling under her eyelids, as if something was lodged there. Her eyelids felt heavy, her eyes felt irritated, and discharge leaked from her eyes. Eyedrops and lubricating gels didn't help.

She was referred to a surgeon, who lifted up the women's eyelids to discover hard, dark, calcified bumps, known as concretions.

It turns out that over the years of incorrect cleansing, small fragments of mascara had become lodged under both eyelids, causing dark spots of conjunctivitis.

The lumps posed a serious risk to the woman's vision. If left untreated, Theresa may have gone blind.

She had to undergo a 90 minute procedure to have the hard lumps removed from inside her eyelid.

Grim photos of what happens when you don't remove your mascara

Theresa and the surgeon who treated her are now sharing pictures of the condition to raise awareness of what can happen if you don't remove your makeup properly every night.

Theresa said: ‘They were embedded so deep that particles were building up on top of each other. 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.

‘I was shocked, I thought I had done permanent damage to my eyelid and I would never get back to normal.

‘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, 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.

‘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.'

How to make sure your eye makeup is correctly removed:

1.Use a specialised eye makeup remover rather than your regular cleanser

2. Soak a cotton pad or cloth in your eye makeup remove and hold it to your eyes
3. Wipe away makeup, then hold your lashes within your cloth or pad and wiggle
4. A final wipe should come away clean

5. Follow with a regular cleanser


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