Halloween Eye Safety
- Posted on: Oct 26 2020
Halloween eye safety
October is Halloween Eye Safety Month! The pursuit of the perfect Halloween look might have you tempted to buy those wild contact lenses you saw at a gas station, but eye injuries caused by Halloween contact lenses can be truly scary. In this blog, we’ll discuss why purchasing costume contact lenses without a prescription is a bad idea.
Illegal Contact Lens Sales
Contact lenses are medical devices that must be registered and regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Any contact lenses that are purchased without a prescription are being sold illegally, even if they are not used to correct vision. These illegal contacts are not cleared by the FDA and may contain contaminants such as chemicals or bacteria that can cause serious damage to the eye.
Contact lenses are not one size fits all. Lenses must be fit by an eye doctor to ensure proper movement and oxygen transmission. Poorly fitting lenses can cause scratches or sores on the cornea, which may permanently scar the eye and lead to vision loss. Additionally, these injuries leave the eye susceptible to dangerous eye infections which can lead to injury or even blindness.
Anyone who wears contact lenses to improve their eyesight knows that inserting and removing contact lenses can be a challenge. When you are fit for contact at a doctors office, you are trained by a professional to insert, remove and disinfect your lenses properly. But a person who purchases contact lenses from an unlicensed retailer does not receive any training or instruction on how to use their lenses. Lenses that are not handled or disinfected properly can introduce harmful bacteria into the eye. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has documented multiple cases of serious eye and vision damage from illegal contact lens use, including this article about a 14 year old girl who needed a corneal transplant after developing an infection from wearing decorative contact lenses just once.
Be careful when choosing Halloween makeup. Many cosmetic products can cause eye irritation if applied too close to the eye. Choose products that are ophthalmologist approved and hypoallergenic, and only apply eye makeup externally, never on the waterline of the eyelashes. Do not use products designed for other parts of the face on the eyes, as they may contain ingredients that cause eye irritation. Avoid makeup that contains glitter or metals which may leave deposits in the eye and cause inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva. Avoid sharing makeup or brushes with others as this may spread infection. Thoroughly remove eye makeup with an ophthalmologist approved eye makeup remover or cleanser before going to bed.
Avoid eye injuries on Halloween. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for contact lens wear, and use caution when applying and removing cosmetics around the eyes. To schedule a contact lens evaluation or routine eye exam, call or text (907) 328-2920. Learn more about your eyes by visiting the blog section of our website at www.mountainvieweyes.com/blog.
Anna Schmitt, 2014, ‘When Costume Contacts Become a Real-life Nightmare’, American Academy of Ophthalmology
Written By: Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC