ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — With Halloween coming up, people are looking to get their costumes ready. Whether it’s showing off vampire-looking red contacts, glittery lashes, or the timeless cat-eye, do these products hurt your eyes? Can they cause a lifetime of damage? Ivanhoe has the answers.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what we apply to our eyes may be harming them!
Herbert Knauf, MD, an ophthalmologist, at Morton Plant Hospital, told Ivanhoe, “People don’t realize that they can develop such a serious infection from wearing contact lenses.”
Are those colorful, decorative non-prescription contacts okay to wear? Not really! While they may spook up your Halloween costume, they can cause a scratched cornea, infection or even blindness, according to the FDA and CDC.
We use water to wash away the germs on our hands, but we shouldn’t use it near our eyes. Water isn’t sterile and can contain dangerous bacteria. So be sure to dry your hands completely before handling contacts.
“Bacteria can attach to the contact lens and then get in your eye,” explained Dr. Knauf.
Also, what about those enhancers to lengthen our lashes? Fake lashes mess with your blinking and can even cause dry eyes. The glue used can damage the cornea if it enters the eye, causing a corneal burn. And putting oil, water, or solution into your mascara bottle to extend its lifespan can contaminate the product. Not all beauty products include ingredients that are easy on the eyes. Avoid formaldehydes, parabens, and benzalkonium chloride (BAK), which is known to be toxic to the cells on the eye’s surface. You may see it listed as Quaternium-15. Good information to keep your vision long beyond 2020.
Experts also recommend changing your makeup products often. Replace your mascara, eyeliners and eyeshadows at least every three months. If you get an eye infection, throw it all away and begin with a new set. Be sure to wash makeup brushes at least once a week with diluted baby shampoo.
Contributors to this news report include: Addlyn Teague, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
HALLOWEEN EYE DANGERS WE LOSE SIGHT OF
BACKGROUND: The eyes play an important role in the mobility, function, and enjoyment of life. It is important to maintain good ocular health, meaning that vision is at least 20/20 or better with or without correction, and the eyes are disease-free. All different parts of the eye system work together, connecting with neurons that transmit and translate messages directly into the brain as visual images. There are simple corrective and preventive measures to maintain good vision. Optometrists are trained specifically to determine and improve visual acuity with the prescription of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and eye exercises. Whereas, ophthalmologists can provide total eye care, from examinations and vision correction to the diagnosis and treatment of disease through medication and surgery.
HABITS THAT HURT YOUR VISION: Changes in eyesight are often out of our control and is bound to deteriorate as we age. “Without realizing it, plenty of seemingly harmless habits could be negatively affecting your vision,” shared Weslie Hamada, OD, an optometrist and Johnson & Johnson R&D expert. There are some things that you should avoid to help keep your eyes healthy. Extensive UV exposure can damage the retina and ultimately put you at risk for conditions like cataracts or abnormal growths. Wearing those one-day contact lenses more than one day, increases your chances of an infection. Rubbing your eyes can spread dirt and bacteria, and has also been linked to permanent corneal damage. Using expired eye makeup can irritate your contacts or cause a nasty eye infection. Smoking has been associated with a higher risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. There’s also growing evidence that more screen time might lead to irreversible deterioration of the retina and may be rising the rates of nearsightedness worldwide. Finally, don’t forego your annual eye doctor visit. Many patients don’t seek medical help for their eyes until it’s too late and they’ve already experienced vision loss.
TREATMENT BEAKTHROUGH: Researchers are working hard to understand the cause of macular degeneration and have recently developed several new types of treatment. Doctors can now use a new type of lens that can magnify images before they reach the optic nerve, offering clearer vision. Vitamin therapy can also be helpful for people with some types of macular degeneration, although consumers should ensure that they are purchasing vitamins from a reputable supplier. Another form of treatment are injectable medications. They offer a form of therapy for some types of macular degeneration, although the injections must be repeated frequently. Combining drug therapy with laser therapy is another way to stop the spread of some forms of macular degeneration. Researchers are also experimenting with the use of stem cells to help some patients, although more research is required before this treatment can be recommended for everyone.
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