Avoid Vision Scares this Halloween
Dressing up in creative costumes and trick-or-treating are just two fun things to look forward to in October. But your Halloween can take a frightening turn if you don’t take proper precautions. Both costume contact lenses and extravagant eye makeup can pose scary threats to your vision, which is why it’s important to follow guidelines set by professionals to keep your eyes safe.
The dangers of costume contact lenses
Costume contact lenses, also called cosmetic or decorative contacts, are used to alter the color of the wearer’s iris. They can be made with or without vision corrections and are often purchased over the counter, without a prescription. Make no mistake—nonprescription costume contact lenses can cause severe damage to your eyes. These lenses can cause corneal abrasions, scratches, and ulcers, as well as sores, scars, and painful infections that can cause blindness. Treating many of these injuries may require eye surgery. They may also counteract the positive impacts of surgeries, such as LASIK or ACT surgeries.
Always abstain from using costume contact lenses that are over the counter. If you do want to make contacts part of your costume, only purchase them from sellers who require a prescription and whose lenses are FDA approved. In the United States, it’s illegal to sell lenses, which are medical devices, without a prescription—all the more reason to purchase lenses from an authorized retailer.
If you or a loved one are thinking about buying inexpensive costume lenses online or at your local Halloween shop, remember that your vision is the potential cost.
Eye makeup safety tips
Contact lenses aren’t the only way to alter your appearance for a costume. Eye makeup, including eye shadow, eyelash extensions, eyeliner, and mascara can cause damage to the eye if not used or applied properly. For example, poorly applied eyelash extensions can irritate the eye and even lead to scratches if the extensions fall into the eye. If you choose to use eyelash extensions, have an experienced aesthetician apply them, make sure that proper hygiene is practiced during the application, and test for lash glue allergies before applying anything.
When deciding upon a makeup look for your costume, make sure that you never share makeup—even with friends or family. Otherwise, you could risk sharing eye-related diseases as well. To avoid irritating your eyes, avoid using metallic, glitter, or flaky makeup to reduce the number of irritants that could potentially enter the eye. And, if you do choose to purchase makeup or face paint for a costume, choose items that are eye safe. Not all formulations should be used around the eyes—even if the photo on the package implies otherwise. Finally, make sure you thoroughly remove all eye makeup before bed and throw away eye makeup, like mascara, after three months to prevent infection.
With these tips in mind, we hope you stay healthy and enjoy the holiday. For more eye safety tips or to book your consultation, call our Columbus Laser & Cataract Center team at 614.939.1600. We’re excited to help guide you toward lifelong, healthy vision!