By Nelson Groom
A mum was horrified to discover 25 years of not taking off her mascara had left her nearly BLIND after solid black lumps became embedded in her eyelids.
Housekeeper Theresa Lynch, 50, sought medical advice after suffering from a heavy sensation in her eyelids, pain, eye irritation and discharge that lubricating gels and eyedrops would not alleviate.
But the mum-of-two, who is originally from Maryland, USA, but now lives in Sydney, Australia, was shocked when doctors discovered hard calcified bumps, known as concretions, buried under her eyelids.
The lumps, caused by her 25 years of heavy makeup use, posed a serious risk to her vision and it took general anaesthetic and a 90-minute procedure to remove them.
Theresa and Dr Dana Robaei have now released the gruesome images to lay bare the hidden danger of leaving mascara on overnight.
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 published a study on Theresa’s injuries, said she had never seen anything like it – and she could have risked going blind.
She said the case was an important platform to raise awareness about the hidden dangers of the everyday beauty product.
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.”