Eyelashes naturally fall out, just as you’d shed hair from your head, but it could be unsettling to see multiple eyelashes on your cheek or pillow. An abnormal loss of eyelashes is known as a condition called Madarosis. And if you see an extreme amount, you should consult your doctor.

There are many reasons that could contribute to eyelashes falling out, including:

Stress – The physical stress of rubbing or pulling at your eyes and eyelashes too hard could cause eyelashes to fall. Also, if you’re experiencing stress emotionally, it could cause hair loss. Take notice of your stress levels, and try to refrain from excess contact with your eyes.

Beauty Habits – Poor beauty habits, such as wearing mascara while sleeping and curling eyelashes with a curler could result in damage to eyelashes. Having eyelash extensions can also cause lash loss, since the fake lashes are glued to your natural lashes. Be sure to gently wash eye makeup off every night to keep your lashes healthy, and don’t use an eyelash curler after applying mascara. Mascara should also be replaced every three months to prevent infection and clumping of the mascara and lashes.

Blepharitis – This eye condition, in which your eyelids’ oil glands don’t function properly, can cause your eyelids to become inflamed, red, and itchy. Eyelashes may begin to form flaky, dandruff-like scales, and some experience their eyelashes shedding as well. In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine can control blepharitis. If the case is caused by a bacterial infection, your eye doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.

Other Medical Conditions & Treatments – Hormonal imbalances and other medical conditions such as alopecia areata, have been known to have side effects such as loss of hair including eyelashes. Treatments and medications could potentially be causing this side effect as well. Talk with your medical doctor about treatment options and any uncomfortable side effects.

While some causes of eyelashes shedding cannot be controlled, good habits and avoiding excess pressure to your eyes can help mitigate hair loss. If you suspect an abnormal amount of hair loss, schedule an exam with your VSP eye doctor. Your eye doctor can provide a WellVision Exam, and point you in the right direction if further treatment is necessary.


The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article is the work of the attributed author and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of VSP. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.


Ask the Eye Doc

Have a question for one of our experts? Ask it here! Remember, due to the volume of questions submitted, we may not be able to answer all of the questions that come in. But keep an eye out for upcoming articles to see if we answered your question!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Premier Program Logo200x200


Judy Nguyen, O.D., is the optometrist at Bella Eye Care Optometry in Newark, CA.