Halloween Eye and Vision Safety Tips
Trick or trip to the ophthalmologist? Spooky season is here, meaning that you are getting prepared for Halloween. Many want to have the scariest and most realistic costume for the festivities. However, are you considering your eye safety when selecting a costume?
Numerous health organizations, such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Food and Drug Administration, recommend enjoying Halloween with special care for your eye safety.
The information below outlines some tips for ensuring that your Halloween props, makeup, and contact lenses are safe for your eyes.
Avoid sharp props
Props make a costume more realistic and complete. However, sharp props may pose risks to the eyes. Sharp props can lead to increased risks of eye damage if they come into contact with the eyes. The sharp edges of the props can easily endanger the bearer’s vision or other people throughout the night.
Therefore, always avoid props with sharp edges, especially for kids’ costumes.
Avoid masks that do not fit well
The pirate patch may complete your costume. However, if it fits poorly, avoid using it. Poorly fitting masks or eye patches increase the risks of scratching the cornea leading to irritation and other complications.
Avoid contact with eyes
Halloween makeup can complete a Halloween look. However, you should be careful to prevent contact with the eyes. Normal or Halloween makeup may contain harmless chemicals to the skin but are harmful to the eyes.
If you use makeup, ensure it is not expired. Additionally, consider an allergy test before applying it on the face. Also, practice proper hygiene and remove all makeup before bed.
For eyelash extensions, ensure that you are not allergic to the lash glue and practice proper hygiene. You can test lash glue or makeup allergies by applying a small amount on the inner arm a few hours before use and observing your reaction.
Avoid applying glitter on the face
You should avoid or limit metallic, glitter, or flaky makeup since the particles can enter the eye leading to irritation or scratching of the cornea. Neon or luminescent makeup may also contain damaging chemicals; therefore, avoid applying them near the eyes.
We recommend using hypo-allergenic makeup options and keeping it far from the eyes. Carry a cloth to wipe away any makeup that may run during the night while trick-or-treating.
Avoid poorly fitting contact lenses
During Halloween, it is not uncommon for individuals to purchase over-the-counter contact lenses with decorative tints or animal eye prints. However, like prescription lenses, over-the-counter lenses are rarely fitted to an individual’s eye. This often leads to discomfort.
Poorly fitted lenses can scratch the eye’s outer layer, leading to corneal abrasion. Symptoms of corneal abrasion include redness, soreness, light sensitivity, and unusual eye discharge. Some individuals have also stated the feeling of something being stuck in the eye.
Corneal abrasion can also lead to corneal ulcers, a white dot on the iris (white-colored part of the eye). Corneal ulcers require immediate medical attention, and eye doctors treat them using medicated eye drops to ensure the ulcer heals.
Healed ulcers can scar permanently, affecting vision. In rare cases, untreated ulcers may necessitate corneal transplants to restore vision.
We recommend avoiding decorative contact lenses bought over the counter and only using medically prescribed ones. Prescribed lenses will be well-fitted and sanitary.
Only wear clean contact lenses
Poorly cleaned or stored contact lenses can introduce harmful microbes to the eye, causing infections. Contacts should be cleaned as prescribed using clean distilled water every time before wearing them.
Poorly cleaned contact lenses can lead to corneal abrasion and ulcers leading to infection vulnerability. Decorative contact lenses were 16 times more likely to cause keratitis (eye infection) than regular prescription contacts.
Keratitis can involve infections such as ocular herpes, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus. Some infections of ocular herpes may be difficult to treat, with recurring infections occurring every few months or years.
Avoid non-prescribed cosmetic tinted lenses
Some over-the-counter cosmetic tint lenses have been found to contain harmful chemicals that can irritate and damage the eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a warning after a published study showed that some cosmetic lenses contain chlorine.
The chlorine is used to tint and create patterns on the lenses. However, some traces of the chemical remain even after rinsing. Chlorine can cause serious permanent damage to the eye’s outer layer, necessitating a corneal implant.
The study also found that colorants or patterns were stamped into some lenses, creating an uneven texture. The uneven texture is likely to scratch the cornea increasing the risks of corneal abrasion, ulcers, and infections.
We recommend avoiding no-name over-the-counter tinted lenses and using tinted prescription lenses from known brands.
Eye Diseases That May Arise from Complications
Halloween makeup, props, and contacts may cause complications such as corneal abrasions, ulcers, or infections that may lead to other eye diseases that may further affect vision. Irritation, infection, or damage to the eyes may increase the risks of developing cataracts and secondary glaucoma (a condition associated with blurred vision).
In some cases, eye treatment involving surgery may be required to correct or save your vision.
Will sugary treats affect my vision?
A healthy diet is important to general body health and eyes. Scientific studies have shown that high consumption of candy, pastries, chocolate bars, and other sugary foods can promote vision deterioration.
High sugar intake over a long period can lead to cataracts and glaucoma, but Halloween happens only a single day in the year, reducing the risks of developing any complications. Therefore, Halloween treats will not affect your vision, but ‘trick-or-treaters’ should avoid excessive consumption of sugary foods over the rest of the year.
Now that you have the vision safety tips, you can enjoy Halloween safely.
Feel free to contact us for your prescription contact lenses or any issues arising from Halloween contacts, makeup, or props. Our ophthalmologists are ready to provide you with our professional services.