With bright hues of red, yellow, purple, and green, coloured contact lenses can add eye-catching detail to any Halloween costume. Although it’s certainly fun and entertaining to dress up for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating, decorative contact lenses can harm your eyes if they are not purchased from a reputable source. Before buying decorative contact lenses this Halloween, learn the risks associated with them and how you can protect your eyes.
Before You Buy Decorative Contact Lenses
Since decorative lenses can be purchased on the Internet or over-the-counter, you may not think they require the same amount of care in comparison to standard contact lenses. In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration labeled novelty coloured contacts as medical devices, making it illegal to purchase or sell them without a prescription. Although Halloween stores and online sites have a wide variety of decorative contact lenses for sale without requiring a prescription, it’s highly recommended that you consult your eye doctor before purchasing. Contact lenses are not “cosmetics” they are medical devices and as such will impact your eye health and eye care.
What Are the Risks Associated With Halloween Contact Lenses?
Non-prescription lenses are not fitted to your eyes. Contact lenses are not sweaters. There’s no such thing as ready-to-wear or “one size fits all.” Your eyes are different from everyone else’s. In fact, each eye often needs a different prescription.
Non-prescription novelty contacts may not be sterile or safe. Prescription contacts, including novelty lenses, come from sellers approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Non-prescription novelty contacts do not. You have no way of knowing if they were stored in sterile conditions or made from approved materials.
All contact lenses pose some risk, but correctly fitted, prescribed and handled lenses are generally very safe.
Eliminating these important steps increases your risk of:
- Corneal abrasion – A very painful cut or scratch on the top layer of eye tissue.
- Vision loss
Safety Tips for Wearing Halloween Contact Lenses
Let’s take a look at some tips for how you can wear decorative lenses safely this Halloween:
- Get an eye exam from a licensed eye care provider and receive a complete contact lens fitting
- Buy your contact lenses from a seller who requires a valid prescription
- Don’t share the contacts with another person
- As directed by your eye doctor, follow all instructions for wearing, disinfecting, and cleaning
- Remove your decorative lenses immediately if you experience any eye pain, redness, discharge, or swelling and follow up with your eye care professional
Why risk your eye health this Halloween? It is possible to wear decorative lenses safely, but only if you visit your licensed eye doctor. The doctor will examine the overall health of your eyes and prescribe lenses that are properly fitted for the unique shape of your eyes. Contact us today and get ready to scare up some fun this Halloween!