What’s scarier than the walking dead on Halloween night? Costumes that can endanger your eyes with exposure to infection, ulcers and abrasions are pretty frightening.

From costume accessories to more permanent changes, here are some eye-altering products that could cut your vision short.

“Zombie Eyes,” “Lizard Lenses” and other similarly named products are discs that look like contact lenses and change your eyes’ appearance from scary whites to blood shot or vivid colors. Steer clear of these harmless looking devices. They are typically not sterile, which puts your eyes at risk for infection. And unlike the contact lenses your ophthalmologist carefully sizes for your eyes, these discs are one-size-fits-all and can scratch your cornea or worse.

Light-Up LED Lashes are another eye accessory that can lead to trouble. These LED light strips attach to the eyelid like fake eyelashes and have a dental floss-like cord that extends to a battery pack that you tuck behind your ear.

The lashes light up and can flash in time to the music. However, the close proximity of LED lights to your eyes can lead to overexposure to UV rays with the long-term effect of cataracts and macular degeneration. In addition, the strobing effect of the lights can induce epileptic seizures.

Eye Makeup. Infection with any bacteria can lead to eye damage. For example, pseudomonas bacteria is a common bacteria that people carry around without knowing it, yet it can eat through your cornea within 24 hours — making a big hole. Eye makeup provides an inviting place for bacteria to grow in very close proximity to the eyes — especially when they’re closed.

Whether it’s a one-time use for a Halloween costume or part of your daily makeup routine, be certain that all eye makeup is carefully removed at the end of the day to protect your eyes from infection as well as ulcers.

Eyeball tattoos. In case there is any question, this newly popularized procedure can be extremely harmful to the eyes. The eye tattoo is a permanent color change to the whites of the eyes (sclera) achieved through injections. This practice is increasingly being performed by unlicensed artists.

Results can include creation of dangerous eye pressure, infection, or leaking. A rule of thumb to always remember — the only person who should ever insert a needle into your eye is a licensed ophthalmologist. These professionals spend years receiving specialized training and gaining experience to assure safe care and handling of your eyes.

Catherine Bene, M.D. is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist at Advanced Eye Specialists and is part of the Medical Group of Pennsylvania a network of independent physicians in Central Pennsylvania.

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