It’s Halloween Safety Month and we’re unpacking the ghoulish ways you may be putting yourself and your eyes in danger. Last year, the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spent over $9 billion on Halloween, with a large proportion of that money being used to purchase elaborate costumes. But going to extremes to create an incredible costume can also create scary health problems that include dangerous eye infections, injuries. and even loss of vision.
Trends to Avoid
One of the most dangerous trends in costuming is colored contact lenses that are purchased over-the-counter or online. Despite their fun look, it is illegal to buy and sell non-prescription contact lenses because of the serious danger they pose. Low safety regulation and poor quality combined with the lack of guidance and prescription from an eye doctor, threatens vision and has even resulted in several cases of partial blindness.
If you do want to wear colored contacts for Halloween, purchasing contact lenses that have been fitted for your eyes is essential. Even if you do not require a corrective prescription, obtaining one ensures that your contacts will fit your eyes’ unique shape while also being sterile, which minimizes the risk of serious infection or damage. Ophthalmology and Visual Science found that people who purchased non-prescribed lenses had a 16 times greater risk of infection than those who had obtained a prescription beforehand.
In addition to avoiding unsafe costume lenses, you should also be careful with costume makeup this Halloween as it can be particularly damaging to eye health as well. Be certain to use makeup that is safe and avoid non-makeup grade glitter that could get into eyes and scratch your cornea. Certain online discount makeup retailers have recently come under fire for using illegal ingredients and dangerous substances, so stick to trusted retailers who adhere to safety regulations. Even products available in stores, like certain glow-in-the-dark makeup sets, are known to contain dyes or ingredients that might cause irritation, pain, or allergic reactions. Be sure that all ingredients in the novelty makeup you use are FDA-approved, especially if the makeup is coming in close contact with your eyes.
With proper planning, Halloween can be a spooky, fun, and most importantly, safe holiday for all who celebrate. When it comes to your eyes, however, be sure that any product you put on or near your eyes is absolutely safe. If you do want to wear colored contacts, be sure to stop by our office to get a prescription rather than ordering online or over-the-counter. Call us at (518) 475-1515 to schedule an appointment today. Our friendly staff at Cornea Consultants of Albany is happy to answer any questions you may have about safe contact use and general eye health. Don’t risk your vision for one fun costume. Stay safe with prescribed lenses and sensible costume makeup.