Hattiesburg doctor discusses Halloween costume eye safety
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Halloween is all about fun and frights, but safety should also come to mind when dressing up as your favorite character, animal or monster.
With costumes becoming more advanced, so are the added touches like contact lenses.
Annie Waters, a Hattiesburg resident, said she puts in these costume contacts herself during this time of year.
“I’ve done mostly darker colored eye contacts because I have the light blue eyes, and when you have lighter colored eyes, you have to wear darker colored contacts to pull off a charter with dark eyes,” said Waters.
Although costume contact lenses sound like a harmless idea, Dr. Todd Williamson, an ophthalmologist at the Hattiesburg Eye Clinic, said there could be a health risk from these nonprescription lenses.
“The big thing you worry about is a corneal abrasion,” said Williamson. “If you wear poorly fitted contact lenses, you get a lack of blood flow. You can get a corneal abrasion that can lead to a bacterial infection like a corneal ulcer, and if that gets in your vision access, that can have some serious long-term effects on your visual acuity.”
Dr. Williamson said that if you decide to wear contacts, you should only look for FDA-approved lenses. He also advised that you shouldn’t share the contacts with others and limit the length of time you wear the lenses.
“The good thing to do is artificial tears while they have the contact lenses in,” said Williamson. “If they’ve had a good fitting contact lens in, but it feels a little irritated in the eye, its ok to put in an over-the-counter artificial tear in just to lubricate the eye, just to let that contact float on the cornea a little better.”
Williamson also said if you experience any scratchiness or severe irritation after wearing these lenses, it’s important to get your eyes checked as soon as possible.
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