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Eyes and Use of Hair Dye

Ageing is inevitable. All of us are well aware of this fact, but nevertheless, we go out of our way to attempt to conceal the common signs of ageing, the most common amongst which is, dyeing our grey hair.

Many of my patients diagnosed with cataract, ask me if it was associated with their use of hair dyes. The fact is that till date there is no scientific evidence available that establishes an association between use of hair dye and development of cataract. Senile cataract is caused due to the natural ageing process and is found along with grey hair in many patients, but the use of hair dye has no influence on itís development or progress.

If the hair dye enters your eyes during application, immediately wash it out. Take a glass of room temperature water and pour it on your eye while tilting your head back. Continue pouring water for around five minutes. If redness or irritation persists, promptly consult an ophthalmologist. It is advisable to never dye the eyebrows or eyelashes.

While hair dye may not have any association with cataract, its use can lead to allergies and some common eye symptoms. Dye can also cause a severe anaphylactic reaction. Such a reaction develops during the very first time that you use the dye.

Prolonged use of hair dye can lead to the development of symptoms such as itching in the eyes, irritation or a burning sensation. It is one of the commonest associations occurring in about five percent of cases. The symptoms are neither severe enough to rush to doctor nor mild enough to be ignored. One may notice worsening of symptoms two to three days after the use of hair dye. Such symptoms can be reduced by the use of certain medications, but complete relief from them requires discontinuation of the dye.

P-Phenylenediamine, (PPD) is the chemical that causes allergic reactions and is present in most of the hair dyes. The dyes containing PPD are easily recognizable as they come as a two-bottle preparation.

  • If the hair dye enters your eyes during application, immediately wash it out.
  • Take a glass of water at room teperature; pour it on your eye while tilting your head back.
  • Continue pouring water for five minutes. If redness or irritation persists promptly consult an ophthalmologist.
  • It is advisable to never dye eyebrows or eyelashes.
Let oneís eyes be much more precious than oneís vanity.

-Dr. SPS Grewal

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