Humans normally have 90 to 160 upper eyelashes and 80 on the lower lid. Unfortunately, some people don’t have enough of them – a congenital condition known as hypotrichosis.
Eyelashes protect the eye from debris. They are also very sensitive to touch. When an object is near the eye, it sends out warning signals to the brain. You then shut your eyes reflexively. When you have inadequate lashes, you have minimal eye protection.
Eye doctors in Houston understand that for many sufferers though, women especially, hypotrichosis is more than just a medical condition. As lashes have long been associated with feminine beauty, lack of them can be embarrassing.
Is there a cure for hypotrichosis?
Medical literature currently lists Latisse as the only available treatment for hypotrichosis. This medication is FDA-approved. It contains bimatoprost, an active ingredient that encourages lengthening of lashes as well as new hair growth. Although the medication has been proven to work, drug manufacturer Allergan states that the mechanism behind it is not yet fully understood.
How the medication came to be is purely coincidental. In 2001, Allergan released prescription eye drops called Lumigan, which contained bimatoprost, for treating glaucoma. Patients taking the medication noticed that their lashes grew longer and fuller – an unexpected side effect. This led Allergan to study the effects of bimatoprost and, eventually, create the eyelash growth medication.
How does it work?
Allergan recommends regular application of the medication – once in the evening – along the upper lash line using a sterile application that comes with the kits. Each applicator must be discarded after single use. Re-use of the applicator puts you at risk for eye problems, such as infection.
No need to apply on the lower lashes; the drug spreads to the lower line each time you blink. Also, be careful not to get the drug on your eyes or other skin areas as hair may grow there.
After two months of regular use, you may begin to see results: Lashes that are longer, fuller, and darker. To maintain your new look, continued use of medication is recommended. When you stop using it, your lashes with gradually return to their original appearance.
Is it safe?
The bimatoprost eyelash grower has been tested safe for human use. However, some users experienced side effects that include:
- Dry eyes
- Darkening of the skin around the eyelids
- Permanent brown pigmentation of the iris
- Lowering of intraocular pressure
If you are experiencing any of the side effects above or having an infection or allergic reaction, see your eye doctor. Dr. Amjad Khokhar, founder of Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, believes it’s also important to tell your doctor about the medication and your experience of it is you are planning to have a laser eye correction or other eye surgery.
I had LASIK. Can I still use Latisse?
According to Dr. Khokhar, the bimatoprost lash grower is safe to use if you have had laser eye correction, but it’s important that your eyes are completely healed before using it. Healing takes about one to two years.
Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALs, and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.