Halloween is for many the most fun holiday of the year. It’s a time when grown adults can indulge their imaginations and thoroughly escape reality for a night. And, boy, if ever there was a year when we needed the escape …

But don’t let that escape land you in a world of hurt, or worse, an emergency room. With a few smart precautions in place, you can forget 2020 for a while and celebrate a night of gruesome gaiety with nary a care in the world:

1.     Reconsider novelty contacts. The urge to go all-out on the creep factor may be strong, but is it worth it? Non-prescription costume contact lenses can cause irritation, injury or infection. Your fellow revelers may not even see them in the darkness of a party or trick-or-treating with the kids. Instead, use special effects makeup to create the illusion you’re going for …

2.     … And apply costume makeup carefully. Makeup is supposed to be nontoxic, but that doesn’t mean it’s harmless for your eyes. To keep possible contaminants at bay:

a.     Use fresh makeup only – nothing left over from last Halloween!

b.     Stop application short of your lash line.

c.     Use a makeup brush for better control near the eyes, or …

d.     Ask a friend to help with your makeup; it is easier for someone else to judge the distance between the brush and your lash line.

3.     Mind your props. Children and adults can keep their eyes safer from injury risk by buying or making only soft props, such as prop swords, scepters or scythes. Also, keep them at your side – your friends will “get” your costume without dramatic motion.

4.     Do not rub. Rubbing can cause microscopic damage and irritation. Not only that, but you run the risk of depositing makeup or other debris into your eye.

5.     Light your way. Whether you’re taking the children out for candy or just getting out in full regalia to enjoy the fall foliage, make sure you have a flashlight and a clear view. Dim light contributes to eye strain, and bulky headgear contributes to falls and injuries. Contact lens wearers should be extra careful putting in and taking out contacts; eyeglass wearers, bring along your specs so they’re there when you need them.

Of course, a discussion about Halloween safety would be incomplete without a mention of COVID-19. Costume masks offer no protection against the spread of viruses, so bring along a face covering designed for that purpose. You can even decorate it to serve as part of your costume!Matossian Eye Associates performs a number of treatments for dry eye, visual disturbances and bad vision. Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at your convenience by calling us at (800) 708-8800 or through our website at MatossianEye.com.