Halloween is almost here, and we can’t wait for the eye-catching costumes that come with it! Many people dress up for the holiday, and some even choose to add costume contact lenses to enhance their looks. However, these lenses can be extremely dangerous. Here’s everything you need to know.
Costume lenses are contacts that change how your eyes look by altering their color or pupil shape. They are known as cosmetic or decorative lenses, and they can be made with or without vision correction.
Although you can find these lenses online or in costume stores, it’s illegal to sell contacts without a prescription in the U.S. Many of these retailers are breaking the law and putting your vision at risk.
Costume contacts are often marketed as “one size fits all.” However, this is simply untrue. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription for safe, comfortable wear. Even if you don’t have a refractive error like myopia (nearsightedness), you still need a prescription to ensure a proper fit.
Many of the decorative lenses on the market come in a medium size, which is not suitable for everyone. Wearing nonprescription lenses that don’t fit properly can cause permanent eye damage by cutting, scratching, and potentially infecting your eyes.
Because doctors have not approved these lenses, they might not be sterile and may let less oxygen through to the eye. Potential consequences of wearing these ill-fitting costume lenses include corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers, and bacterial infections that may cause vision loss.
Injuries from costume contact lenses could require surgery and emergency care. Unfortunately, even with expert intervention, costume lenses can lead to permanent eye damage and vision loss. For your safety and health, always avoid nonprescription contacts.
If you’re hoping to enhance a costume or change your eye color for a special event, there are safe ways to do so. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you purchase FDA-approved prescription lenses from certified retailers. Before purchasing them, you will need to visit an eye care provider to fit you for contacts and write a prescription.
However, if you experience symptoms, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or pain with any contact lens, remove it immediately and contact your eye health professional.
No matter how you dress up for Halloween, it’s important to prioritize your health and safety. Enjoy your holiday celebration—without worrying about the potential harm from your costume.
Avoid suffering the painful consequences of ill-fitting contact lenses by only purchasing them with a prescription or skipping them altogether! If you are interested in safe, colored contact lenses, reach out to our team for more information.