Rx Optical Blog Halloween Eye Safety 10.19.18

Get Spooky: Halloween Costumes and Eye Safety

Fun costumes are one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween. Depending on the costume, sometimes it takes a bit of makeup and even crazy eyewear in order to fully pull off the look you’re going for. When you’re swept up in the excitement of dressing up, it is easy to forget about eye safety and the potential risks your costume may be creating.

Our treat to you this Halloween season is informing you of certain costume accessories that could cause you harm and potentially ruin your Halloween celebrations.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

October is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month, and, coincidently, a popular trend for enhancing Halloween costumes is cosmetic contact lenses. Cosmetic lenses can make quite a fashion statement, but when bought without a prescription at boutiques, tattoo parlors, and other nonprofessional retailers, they pose serious health risks.

All contact lenses, including prescription or cosmetic, are classified as medical devices and it is illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses without a prescription, because of the medical and health risks that this creates. Non-prescription costume contacts can cut, scratch, and infect your eye if they are not properly fitted. From this mis-sizing, corneal abrasions and bacterial infections are the most common injuries that occur. Unfortunately, treatment for these injuries can require surgery and sometimes the treatment does not work.

Why are costume lenses unsafe? The lenses are developed in a way that does not allow enough oxygen get through to the eye due to the paints and pigments used to create the colors in the cosmetic lens. There are about 13,000 emergency room cases each year due to the use of non-prescription cosmetic lenses.

How do you get safe, colored contact lenses? The only way to safely wear contact lenses is with a prescription. Our Optometrists would be happy to determine your prescription and contact fit at an eye exam. If cosmetic lenses will complete your Halloween costume, be sure to go the safe route and schedule an eye exam.

Costume Makeup, Paint, and Glitter

Makeup, paint, and glitter are quite common when it comes to Halloween costume essentials, but these also all pose a risk. It is important that when using costume makeup, paint, or glitter, you test a small area before placing the makeup on the entire face. It is especially important with costume makeup to keep it away from the eyes and eye area so that they eyes are protected from any irritation or stinging and burning.

After the costume comes off, don’t forget to take off your makeup, too. No matter how tired you are, the irritation from costume makeup can cause infection if left on for too long, so don’t go to sleep without washing your face. Be sure to look for swelling, rashes, and irritation on the face or around the eyes the day after the makeup is applied.

Masks and Accessories

Watch out for any costume items that could penetrate or scratch the eye. Think plastic masks that could break into the eye or tripping while carrying a prop sword. Any accessory or prop you use should be soft, flexible, and short, in order to avoid injury to the eye.

Signs of Infection

After your celebrations, watch out for these signs of infection:

  • Unexplained eye discomfort or pain
  • Redness of the eye and/or discharge
  • Watering eyes
  • Vision changes

Want to learn more about safe Halloween costume practices or interested in setting up an eye exam to get a prescription for colored contact lenses? Give our office a call or schedule your appointment online. One of our doctors would be more than happy to assist in your fun and safe Halloween!

rx optical blog image makeup and your eyes 031218

MAKEUP AND YOUR EYES

MAKEUP AND YOUR EYES
Applying eye makeup is part of a regular morning ritual for many. Eye makeup is a fun way to give the appearance of longer lashes, more definition and brighter eyes.

However, if cosmetics are not used properly, they can affect the health and appearance of your eyes. Applying makeup incorrectly or without proper care can cause infections, allergic reactions and injury – definitely not the desired result.

Keep your eyes healthy and beautiful by practicing our eye care safety tips, just in time for Workplace Eye Wellness Month!

THROWAWAY EYE MAKEUP EVERY THREE MONTHS
Eyelashes naturally have bacteria on them. Each time you use a mascara wand and stick it back into the container, you are introducing bacteria. To reduce the chances of buildup and potential infections, throw away your eye makeup every three months – no matter how expensive it was.

WASH YOUR HANDS AND TOOLS BEFORE APPLYING EYE COSMETICS
Always wash your hands before you begin applying eye makeup. Transferring bacteria or makeup residue into your eyes can cause injury, infection or irritation. Also ensure that all cosmetic tools you’re placing near your eyes are clean. If you plan to curl your eyelashes, always do it before applying mascara and clean the tool prior to placing it on your eyes.

STAY AWAY FROM GLITTER (SORRY, LADY GAGA FANS!)
While fun in theory, glitter can easily transfer off your face and into your eyes causing irritation and injury.Avoid makeup that has glitter in it to prevent the chances of it moving around on your face and scratching your cornea. A corneal abrasion (scratched cornea) is one of the most common eye injuries (and it isn’t fun).

DON’T SHARE MAKEUP
Sharing makeup increases the chances of sharing infection. Cross contamination can occur when two or more people share the same cosmetic. The biggest concern for sharing makeup is passing along infections or bacteria; not surprisingly, another person’s bacteria can be harmful to you.

AVOID USING MAKEUP ON YOUR WATERLINE
Unsharpened eyeliners can potentially scratch the cornea and injure the eye. Corneal injuries often cause significant discomfort, red eyes and hypersensitivity to light. Eyeliners and eyeshadows on the waterline may be trendy, but they can also shift and get into the eyes, causing discomfort and irritation (not worth it).

THOROUGHLY WASH YOUR FACE EACH NIGHT
Listen to your mom on this one. Sleeping with makeup on increases the possibility of makeup and bacteria shifting and can cause irritability and soreness in your eyes. Use a warm washcloth with makeup remover or water each night to thoroughly wash all your makeup off. Your pillowcase (and your face) will thank you!

SO, WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET MAKEUP IN YOUR EYES?
If you do get makeup in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with clean water or eye-wash solution. If you are wearing contact lenses, take them out before flushing out your eyes. Flush out your eyes until you have removed the eyeliner, mascara or other cosmetics. Once you’ve removed the makeup from your eyes, apply moisturizing eye drops. Clean your contact lenses with cleaning solution before storing or inserting them. Do not re-insert your contacts until the irritation has passed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DEVELOP AN EYE INFECTION OR ENCOUNTER AN INJURY?
If you experience eye soreness, redness, irritation, buildup or swelling, promptly make an appointment with your eye doctor. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat viral infections and injuries. After encountering an infection, dispose of all your eye makeup to avoid re-infection.

Take care of your eyes and follow our safe makeup tips. If you experience any unexplained redness or irritation, schedule an appointment ASAP – (800) RX CARES.