Those fine hairs that grow at the eyelid perform several functions, even though they are often regarded as an emphasis of beauty, particularly for women. However, their primary function is to protect the eyes from small particles such as dust, sand or debris from entering and harming the eye.This is good news for those that have lost their eyelashes due to medical conditions. -MDA

EYE experts have discovered a drug used to treat glaucoma can also boost the growth and prominence of eyelashes.

IN a year-long trial, researchers at Britain’s Southampton General Hospital and Saint Louis University in the US analysed the effects of a daily application of bimatoprost to the upper eyelid of patients with poor eyelash growth, known as idiopathic hypotrichosis, or eyelash loss as a result of recent chemotherapy.

Conventionally, under the brand name Lumigan, the drug has been used in eye drop form to decrease the amount of fluid in the eye and reduce eye pressure, treating both glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

 The study, published online by the British Journal of Dermatology, offers the first long-term investigation of the drug’s safety and effectiveness as a treatment for lengthening, thickening and darkening eyelashes using direct application to the eyelid.

 Parwez Hossain, a consultant ophthalmologist at Southampton General and an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Southampton, co-led the study, which was based at the NIHR Southampton Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility.

 “This study shows bimatoprost is a safe and effective treatment for eyelash growth over a sustained period of time for anyone affected by poor eyelash length, thickness and darkness,” he said.

 “It also offers, for the first time, a viable, rapid treatment option for patients who have suffered eyelash loss as a result of chemotherapy, which is something we know has a strong negative impact on patients’ psychological well being.”

Previous trials of the drug as a treatment for poor eyelash growth were limited to a duration of just four months, while no studies had reported it as a possible standard treatment option for former chemotherapy patients. A total of 368 patients – four men and 364 women – of an average age of 50 years old took part in the study, which found length and thickness in all patients increased.

All six-month results were maintained or enhanced at 12 months…… 


Source:  The Daily Telegraph