Colorful novelty contact lenses may seem like the perfect missing touch to your zombie, werewolf, or vampire Halloween costume, but they can turn a fun night into a Halloween nightmare when purchased without a prescription. Decorative, theatrical, special-effect contact lenses are safe to wear, but only when they are properly prescribed and cared for. To avoid infections, blindness, and other Halloween horror stories, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is warning the public against wearing unregulated fashion contact lenses.
The Dangers of Decorative Contact Lenses
Decorative Halloween costume contact lenses can cause serious health risks when obtained without a prescription. Risks include:
- Impaired vision
- Damaged Cornea
- Pink Eye
- Eye Infection
If you experience extensive eye pain, redness, irritation, itchiness, or a loss in vision, contact us immediately.
Are Novelty Contact Lenses Illegal?
In the United States, it is illegal to sell over-the-counter contact lenses. Contact lenses are medical devices that are regulated by the U.S. FDA, so they must be prescribed by eye care professionals who have determined that your eyes can safely tolerate particular contact lenses. All contact lenses must be sold with a prescription to prevent serious health problems that can lead to permanent eyesight damage.
Proper Care of Contact Lenses
- Only wear contact lenses that have been prescribed by a licensed eye doctor.
- Never buy contact lenses from unauthorized businesses such as Halloween stores, beauty shops, convenience stores, or websites that do not require a subscription.
- Properly clean and disinfect your contact lenses and contact lens case as instructed by your eye care professional. Never use water, saline solution, eye drops, or saliva to disinfect your lenses.
- Wash your hands and dry them with a clean, lint-free towel before handling your contact lenses.
- Never swap or share contact lenses with anyone.
- Carefully follow the schedule your eye doctor gives you for wearing and replacing your lenses. Never sleep while wearing daily contact lenses.
- To learn more, review the U.S. FDA’s video on contact lens care.
Remember: Putting the finishing touch to your Halloween costume is not worth a sight-threatening eye infection from improper contact lens use. Contact us to learn more about decorative Halloween contact lenses.