Halloween eye safety

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Stylish Belles
By Dr. David Epley

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Halloween is a particularly perilous time for eye-health. Many costumes involve enhancements and alterations to the eye. 

One mishap can lead to frightening results. Glitter mishaps or costume contact lenses sold illegally are just a couple of the hazards that can lead to temporary and permanent blindness.

To avoid a real-life horror story, remember that eye tissue is among the most delicate in the human body. Damage to that tissue is especially difficult to reverse.

The Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons wants to make sure you have a safe Halloween this year. 

Below are a few safety tips to avoid a real-life horror story as you and your family navigate the hazards that come with some Halloween costume-related accessories.

False eyelashes 
  • Test for lash glue allergies
  • Don’t share false eyelashes with anyone else
  • Wash your hands before putting on and taking off
  • Visit an experienced aesthetician to see what shape and weight works best with your eyes
Eye makeup 
  • Avoid metallic, glittery or flakey eye makeup
  • Avoid applying products inside the eyelash line, which has been shown to increase irritation and dryness of the eye surface
  • Carefully select the makeup you use, and be aware that certain ingredients such as fragrances, preservatives, metallic pigments and color additives might cause irritation to your skin or eyes
  • Remove all eye makeup before bed
Halloween costume contacts

Wearing colored contacts that weren’t prescribed to you could cause: 
  • Painful infections
  • Sore and scars
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Vision loss
Other contact safety tips: 
  • Don’t share contacts with anyone
  • Always remove contacts before sleeping
  • Be sure to use contact solution and not water
  • If you experience any redness, irritation or decreased vision while or after using contact lenses, discontinue wear immediately and reach out to your eye care provider for guidance
Sure, a simple accessory can complete a costume and bring it to the next level, but before you purchase anything, consider asking your eye doctor what would be best.

For more eye-related safety and information, visit Vision for Washington, CDC and the FDA.

Dr. David Epley is a pediatric ophthalmologist and adult strabismus specialist from Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (WAEPS), affiliated with Swedish Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Evergreen Hospital and Skagit Valley Hospital.


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