“Trick or treat.” It is that time of the year again when we go all out with our unique Halloween costumes and makeup. Whatever you plan to wear, it is important to keep your eyes safe and healthy from Halloween accessories and makeup.
Halloween Masks and Costumes
Halloween masks, if not worn properly, can be a safety hazard when not worn properly by blocking your vision. If they have poorly fitted material, something may get caught in your eyes and put you at risk of an injury. They can also restrict peripheral vision leading to tripping and falls on stairs or curbs. Masks or costumes that cover one eye may lead to loss of depth perception and may also increase the risk of falls or injuries.
Avoid oversized pieces that do not properly fit on you or your little one’s head to prevent obstructing your vision when moving about. Secure your headpieces, scarves, or hats, so they do not slip over your or your child’s eyes. Some costumes also have dangerous props like spears or wands that might injure or jab the eyes leading to a medical emergency. Stay clear from pointy, sharp props, and go for safer alternatives. When you buy your mask, scrub it with rubbing alcohol to get rid of germs and bacteria that might be present from being touched by other shoppers. Do not drive when wearing masks. You can also avoid masks altogether and use face paint or makeup as a safer alternative.
Halloween Contact Lenses
You might want to spruce up your look by changing the appearance of your eyes with special effect contact lenses, but you should be careful. Costume lenses are considered medical devices and require a prescription, even if they are not for vision correction. Purchasing costume contact lenses that are not prescribed could compromise the safety and health of your eyes, putting you at risk of infections, pink eye, and other eye problems. Do not buy your Halloween contact lenses in the following areas:
- Halloween stores
- Salons or beauty supply stores
- Novelty stores
- Flea markets
- Video stores
- Street vendors
There are two types of contact lenses, the FDA-approved and those not approved by the FDA, such as novelty lenses. The lenses are similar in appearance, but the novelty contact lenses are illegal, poorly made, and may contain bacteria that may cause a nasty eye infection. Novelty lenses may cause vision changes and, in extreme cases, vision loss if you do not get immediate medical assistance. They also lack airflow, fit poorly, and can cause irritation from the lens material leading to additional eye problems and injuries. You may have an eye infection if you are experiencing the following signs:
- Corneal ulcers
- Cuts and scratches to the cornea
- Changes in vision, irreversible decrease or loss of vision
- Burning or Itching
- Allergic reactions
- Foreign Body Sensation
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to Light
- Constant Tearing
If you have preexisting allergies or dry eye can cause irritation and eye pain and increase the risk of other eye complications. To ensure your eye safety, if you are interested in costume contact lenses, keep in mind the following:
- Have your eyes examined by a professional eye care specialist, even if your eyes are in good condition, to obtain a costume contact lens prescription. This ensures you have properly fitting lenses that won’t scratch your eyes. Contact lenses can come with their challenges, like cornea damage. You may not have any issues at the moment, but the lenses might harm your eyes. Regular eye check-ups and prescription lenses will greatly reduce the chances of undetected problems you might be unaware of.
- Buy your costume contact lenses from a trusted company or retailer that requires you to have a prescription. The lenses should include accurate measurement, brand name, and expiration date. The lenses should be sealed in sterile packaging.
- Avoid wearing costume lenses overnight and follow your optometrist’s instructions on cleaning and disinfection.
- Always wash your hands before handling your lenses to reduce infections, eye trauma, or other complications
- Start with your costume lenses first before applying Halloween makeup
- In case of irritation, remove your lenses and contact your optometrist immediately if your eyes are inflamed, painful, or you have signs of infection
- Before removing your Halloween makeup, take out your lenses first
- Never use tap water to clean your contact lenses. Only use contact solution
- Do not share your lenses with anyone to avoid the risk of infections
Be careful with the makeup you use near your eye area since it can cause eye problems. Avoid metallic pigments, color additives, parabens, and fragrances since they may cause eye irritation. A patch test on your wrist a day before applying your Halloween makeup can help see how your skin will react. Here are more tips on selecting and using eye makeup:
- Avoid glitter eye makeup or flaky products, and choose hypo-allergenic products around the eye area. The makeup at the Halloween stores is low in quality and can cause irritation, rashes, corneal scratches, infections, and allergic reactions. Never use craft glitter since it contains glass or metal particles that are extremely harmful to the eyes.
- It would be best to avoid applying cosmetic products inside your eyelash line to avoid drying and irritating the eye surface.
- Don’t sleep without removing makeup and thoroughly cleanse your face
- Never share makeup with anyone to avoid cross-contamination and the risk of infection
- Get your eyelash extensions done by a professional. Avoid the ones sold at Halloween stores since they are low quality and can cause watery eyes, irritation, and infections.
There are so many potential eye hazards and challenges during Halloween. As you have fun, don’t forget to prioritize your eye health by choosing eye-friendly costumes and makeup. Eye problems caused by the wrong Halloween costume choice are unsightly and costly to treat. Following the tips mentioned above will allow you to have fun and create pleasant memories for yourself and your family. If you are facing any challenges with your vision, seek immediate medical assistance as soon as possible to avoid further complications. For more information please contact Dr. Rahim Hirji.