Eyesight: Not removing make-up before sleep could lead to conjunctival ‘eroding’ – expert

Claudia Winkleman blames her makeup on 'bad eyesight'

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Speaking to Express.co.uk, optician Sharon Copeland from Feel Good Contacts listed make-up removal before bed as her number one tip for good eye health. She said: “We already know that sleeping in our make-up is bad, but did you know it could also result in sight loss? A woman who hadn’t properly removed her mascara for 25 years suffered subconjunctival concretions (dots on the underside of the eyelid filled with debris).”

Details of this case were published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in 2018.

It explains: “A 50-year-old woman presented with chronic foreign body sensation in both eyes.

“She admitted to more than 25 years of heavy mascara use on her lashes with inadequate removal.

“Eversion of the upper lids revealed multiple darkly pigmented subconjunctival concretions, some eroding through the conjunctival surface.

“This was associated with a patchy follicular conjunctivitis and punctate corneal erosions.

“Histopathological examination of a conjunctival biopsy revealed a chronic inflammatory infiltrate with pigmented macrophages, in keeping with foreign body deposition.”

Corneal erosion is when the layer of cells on the surface of the cornea, called epithelium, loosens from the layer underneath.

According to the AAO this is “painful and makes your vision blurry or hazy”.

It adds: “If the epithelium is not firmly attached, opening your eyelids might peel the epithelium off.”

Ms Copeland said there are other risks associated with make-up.

“Expired make-up is another thing to watch out for,” she explained.

“You should also ensure your mascara isn’t older than six months, or you could be putting your eyes at risk of pink eye, irritation or a stye.”

Her other tips to protect your eyes included:

Touching or rubbing your eyes – if you have to touch your eyes, ensure you wash your hands first or you could be transferring dirt from your hands to your eyes.

If you wear contact lenses then it’s especially important that you apply and remove your contacts with clean hands.

It’s also important not to rub your eyes to avoid scratches on the retina and irritation.

Not overusing and reusing contact lenses – sleeping in your contact lenses and wearing them for longer than the recommended time is dangerous.

Wearing contact lenses for too long will deprive your eyes of oxygen, drying them out and leading to irritation.

Daily lenses in particular are only designed to be worn for a day, after which the lens starts to break down, and you wouldn’t want that to happen while it’s in your eye.

Not wearing sunglasses – even on overcast days, we still need to wear sunglasses. UV rays still affect our eyes even when the sun isn’t shining.

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