When the leaves start falling and the air gets crisper, you know Halloween season is quickly approaching. It’s time to celebrate with pumpkin carvings, costumes, and trick-or-treating with loved ones. However, some costumes can inadvertently lead to scary eye problems if precautions aren’t taken. While you want to enjoy a frighteningly fun Halloween, you don’t want it to be damaging to your eye health.
By adhering to these four Halloween eye safety tips, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your spooky traditions eye-injury free!
Sometimes makeup can make or break a costume. But be sure to select hypoallergenic makeup to wear in order to prevent a bad reaction. Before applying it to your whole face, test your costume makeup on a small area of your skin. To help protect your eyes from coming in contact with potentially irritating makeup, leave a margin around your eyes. Once you’ve finished wearing your costume, promptly wash off the makeup to avoid irritation.
Even though masks, wigs, and eye patches are fun to wear as part of a Halloween costume, they can block or impair your vision. If you or one of your loved ones decides to wear one of these accessories, bring a flashlight so you can better see what’s in front of you and take extra care to check your surroundings. When possible, choose to wear makeup instead of a mask.
3. Sharp or pointed props
Carrying a knife or sword may seem essential to dressing up as a knight or pirate, but carrying a sharp and pointed object can lead to eye injuries. You risk harming your own eyes as well as the eyes of those around you. To avoid a dangerous situation, use props that are soft and flexible. Refrain from carrying accessories such as swords, spears, and wands when appropriate, and make sure to keep a close eye on kiddos who insist on carrying those types of props.
4. Decorative contacts
Perhaps for your costume you would like to wear contacts that make it look like you have snake eyes or blood-red vampire eyes. It’s a growing trend to include decorative contacts as part of Halloween costumes, but many people are unaware of the risks associated with these cosmetic contacts.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns against purchasing and wearing costume lenses without a prescription, as they may not be sterile and could cause serious eye problems. Some of the risks associated with the cosmetic contact lenses include:
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Watery eyes
- General eye pain
- Light sensitivity
- Decreased vision
- Corneal scratches or infections
The Right Way to Get Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Did you know that it’s actually illegal in the Unites States to sell cosmetic contact lenses without a prescription? There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all contact lens. So instead of risking your eyesight with contact lenses you find online or in a novelty shop, here is the correct way to shop for those fun costume lenses:
- Go to your eye doctor for an eye exam – they will examine your eyes to ensure that the contact lenses fit properly.
- Get a prescription – just like a prescription for vision-correcting contact lenses, your doctor will provide you a prescription for your cosmetic contact lenses. Your prescription will include specific information such as the correct lens measurements for your eyes.
- Purchase your contact lenses from a retailer that requires a prescription – since these decorative lenses are medical devices, it’s illegal for businesses to sell them without a prescription. Without a prescription, you risk purchasing contact lenses that don’t fit properly, may not work well, or will damage your eyes.
- Follow proper contact lens care – by properly cleaning your contacts, you decrease your chances of irritating your eyes or getting an eye infection.
- Never share your lenses – your contact lenses are fitted just for you. Not only would you risk injuring someone else’s eyes, but it’s also unsanitary. You wouldn’t share your toothbrush, right?
- See your eye doctor immediately if you notice any adverse symptoms – any pain, redness, or discharge from your eyes may be a sign of infection. Remove your contacts and see your eye doctor for help.
For more information about our selection of contact lenses, check out our Optical Boutique or contact Illinois Eye Center at (309) 243-2400 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam with our eye care specialists today.