Eye care specialist warns public on eyelash mites inflammation

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Nowadays, eyelash extensions are one of the top beauty trends. Eye care specialists say if you don’t take proper care of them, you’ll end up with tiny critters on your lash line.

In Kern County, there has been at least one case reported each month of blepharitis on people’s lashes or in other words “eyelash mites inflammation.”

Lash mites are tiny bugs that are not visible and tend to live inside the root of a person’s eyelashes. I spoke with Dr. Dang, a Dry Eye Clinic Director from Empire Eye and Laser Center about how this beauty trend turns buggy.

“You pay a lot of money for eyelash extensions, you don’t do a very good job at cleaning because you want them to stay in your eyes,” said Dr. Dang. “You don’t want to go and rub your eye, so then you tend to neglect on your hygiene.”

The Dry Eye Clinic Director said this infection is contagious, especially among couples who share pillows and blankets. Symptoms can include swollen eyelids, itchy eyes, or feeling like you have something in your eyes. 

Although eyelash extensions cost as high as $200, getting treated for lash mites pinch your wallet a little more. 

“It takes several months, usually, 6-8 weeks, we usually see these patients 2-3 times a month,” Dr. Dang adds. 

If you don’t have health insurance, the price ranges from $50-$100 per visit.

This isn’t to say you should steer clear of luscious lashes altogether

Natalie Ramos, a licensed esthetician, said she and many of her clients feel like they save a lot of time on getting dolled up for their day. 

“They are easy, they can get up and go. People who don’t wear makeup, they just want to get up and go. That’s all what they need, their lashes and some lip gloss,” Ramos said.

Ramos says it is OK to wear lash extensions but you need to keep them spotless.

“Keep them clean, get a daily routine going, that’s just about it. It’s just washing them. You brush your teeth, you want to make sure you’re washing them everyday, you know? It’s the same thing.”

Dr. Dang recommends those who wear eyelash extensions, visit an eye clinic once every six months. He also recommends tea tree oil as a cleanser for those infected with lash mites. 

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