Gruesome Pictures Reveal What Really Happens When You Don't Take Your Mascara Off

May | 68 sharesEmma Guinness

Mascara is a staple of many people's handbags. However, as anyone who has ever coated their lashes with reckless abandon knows, it is crucial that you practice good hygiene when removing it. Otherwise, you're guaranteed to destroy your bedsheets and end up with panda eyes.

But what happens when you do more than drunkenly forget to remove your makeup? That's something which this mother-of-two learned the hard way after she didn't remove her mascara for a shocking 25 years. Yes, you read that right. Twenty-five years. No makeup removal.

It was only when 50-year-old Theresa Lynch began to suffer from irritation that she decided that the time had finally come to remove her mascara.

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This irritation was accompanied by discharge and an uncomfortable sensation beneath her eyelids that was caused by solid black lumps.

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Because of the severity of the lumps, the mom-of-two suddenly found herself at risk of losing her vision. She was then rushed into theatre under general anesthetic for an emergency 90-minute removal procedure. The fact that they hadn't bothered her until then - or even taken her sight - is a miracle in and of itself.

Now Theresa and Dr. Dana Robaei have released the horrifying pictures to warn others of the dangers of leaving mascara on overnight.

Or, as was the case for Theresa, 25 years.

According to the 50-year-old, before the pain started, she first knew that something was up when she felt something strange under her eyelids.

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"[The lumps] were embedded so deep that particles were building up on top of each other," she explained.

"I was so uncomfortable. My eyelids were swollen and heavy because I left it for so long."

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"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."

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It was at this point that Dr. Robaei and Theresa began to fear that the 50-year-old's eyesight had been irrevocably damaged.

"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," Theresa explained.

"It's so important to properly take your makeup off every single night. You can't miss a single day."

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Because Theresa's situation was so extreme, Dr. Robaei decided to write a study about it.

The study, published by the American Academy of Opthamology, described the black spots as "subconjunctivital concretions" - a form of conjunctivitis created by years of mascara use without proper removal.

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"Every time Theresa was blinking these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision," Dr. Robaei said.

"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."

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"It was certainly disabling," the Dr. added. "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."

So the next time you stumble home from a night out and contemplate leaving your mascara on, remember Theresa's eyes and force yourself to take it off. Your future self will thank you.