At Eyesite, we are all up for having a fun time, especially at Halloween! We enjoy letting our hair down and unleashing our childish sides, but we want to offer a piece of advice this Halloween to help protect your eyes.
What are cosmetic contact lenses?
Cosmetic contact lenses are lenses that change the color or even shape of your eyes. They are popular among the cosplay scene, but they are never more popular than at Halloween. Cosmetic contact lenses are also sold as “decorative lenses”, or “theatre lenses”.
The marketplace for selling these lenses has exploded in recent years, and now everyone wants cat eyes, or snake eyes, or red eyes, or dead eyes. But for the sake of your eye health, it’s vital that you are fully aware of the risks you take when you put those contact lenses in.
There are a few dangers to wearing these creepy contacts, including scratches on the cornea, eye infections, reduced vision and even blindness. Your eye is a very delicate area, and it should be looked after carefully. There have been many reports from individuals who bought and wore cheap decorative contact lenses, without understanding the risks first, and sadly paid the price.
Most experienced pain whilst wearing the lenses. After removing them they suffered infections, such as conjunctivitis, for around two weeks. Unfortunately, there are reports from a few who have said that their vision has worsened and/or decreased as a direct result of wearing these contact lenses.
Get the right kind of Halloween contact lenses
For those of us who wear prescription contact lenses, we know that it is imperative the right kind of contact lenses are selected for your eyes. Once this is done you can begin to learn how to put them in. If you are not used to putting in contact lenses, you run the risk of transferring a bacterial infection, or even tearing your own cornea.
There are also a multitude of different types of contact lenses including gas permeable lenses and soft lenses that can be worn for varying periods of time; from daily to up to 3 years. All of these have been specially designed to offer maximum protection and comfort to your eye whilst you were them. Halloween decorative lenses are very thin, and are made from cheap materials. This causes them to irritate the eye, resulting in damage and infection.
We recommend that you only ever purchase contact lenses from an eyecare professional, or else you run the risk of damaging your eyes, sometimes for good.
In the Opticians Act 1989 it states that “A person shall not sell […] any optical appliance or zero powered contact lens unless the sale is effected by or under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner, a registered optometrist or a registered dispensing optician”. Despite these being the perfect finishing touch to your Halloween costume, sadly we cannot dress-up the risks that you are taking if you do decide to celebrate Halloween wearing these terrifying contact lenses!
How to use cosmetic contacts safely
The most common piece of misinformation regarding Halloween lenses is how to clean them. Never use water. Failure to use the proper solution to keep contact lenses clean and moist can lead to infections.
If you’re wearing cosmetic contact lenses this Halloween, don’t forget…
- Get an eye exam from a licensed eye care professional, even if you have good vision
- Get a prescription that includes the brand and lens dimensions
- Buy the lenses from an eye care professional or a vendor that requires a prescription
- Follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses
- Halloween contact lenses must be stored in a clean and sterile environment
- Do not sleep in your contact lenses
- Never share your contact lenses with anyone else
- If you suffer any irritation, itching, redness or swelling then remove your contact lenses immediately