Why Do My Eyelashes Hurt?

by Apr 29, 2024

Experiencing pain or discomfort in the eyelashes can be distressing and may prompt individuals to engage in behaviors like pulling or rubbing their eyelashes in an attempt to alleviate the sensation. However, understanding the underlying reasons for eyelash pain and adopting appropriate remedies is essential for preserving eye health and addressing the discomfort effectively.


Causes of Eyelash Pain

Eyelash pain can stem from various conditions and factors, including inflammation, allergic reactions, and obsessive pulling of eyelashes. Each of these present certain unique issues and complications.


Eyelash Folliculitis and Blepharitis

Inflammation of the hair follicles along the eyelid margin, known as folliculitis, can lead to pain, redness, and swelling around the eyelashes. An inflammatory condition affecting the eyelid margins is blepharitis. Blepharitis can cause itching, irritation, and eyelash discomfort, often accompanied by crusting and flaking of the eyelid skin.


Trichotillomania and Why Do My Eyelashes Hurt Until I Pull Them Out?

A psychological disorder characterized by compulsive hair-pulling called trichotillomania may manifest as a tendency to pull out eyelashes in response to stress, anxiety, or emotional distress. This consistent pulling of the lashes can quickly lead to problems and pain.


Allergic Reactions

 Allergies to cosmetics, eye makeup, or environmental allergens can trigger eyelash pain, itching, and swelling, prompting individuals to seek relief through eyelash manipulation. This may be in the eyelid, conjunctiva, or a combination of both.


Complications of Pulling Out Eyelashes

While pulling out eyelashes may temporarily alleviate pain or itching, this behavior can lead to several complications.

Pulling out eyelashes can introduce bacteria and contaminants to the delicate eye area, increasing the risk of infection and inflammation.

Repeated pulling can damage the hair follicles and impede the natural growth cycle of eyelashes, potentially resulting in sparse or misaligned lashes.

Engaging in hair-pulling behaviors like trichotillomania can have psychological consequences, impacting self-esteem and mental well-being.

Given the many concerns with eyelash pulling, it is not recommended to pull eyelashes at home.


Remedies for Eyelash Pain

To address eyelash pain effectively and avoid the detrimental effects of pulling out eyelashes, consider the following remedies.

If you experience persistent eyelash pain or discomfort, seek evaluation by an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. This treatment may include the surgical epilation, or pulling, of the eyelashes in a sterile and safe manner.

Regularly clean the eyelids and lashes with a gentle, preservative-free eyelid cleanser to help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.

Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears can soothe dry, irritated eyes and alleviate discomfort without resorting to eyelash manipulation.

Always refrain from pulling or rubbing your eyelashes, as this can exacerbate irritation, compromise eyelash health, and worsen underlying conditions.

If eyelash pulling is due to stress or is a coping mechanism, address the underlying stress that is leading to the need to pull the eyelashes.


Seeking Professional Guidance

Persistent eyelash pain should not be ignored, as it may indicate an underlying eye condition that requires medical attention. By consulting with an eye care professional, individuals can receive an accurate diagnosis, tailored treatment plan, and guidance on managing eyelash pain effectively while safeguarding ocular health.


Our eye doctors at Neal Eye Group in Conshohocken, PA excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrists at (610) 828-9701 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about why your eyelashes hurt? Our optometrists provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Conshohocken, Norristown, Plymouth Meeting, Lafayette Hill, and Philadelphia.

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