Are Halloween Contact Lenses Safe?

October 16th, 2019 by EyeXcel

Are you looking for a scarier look this Halloween?

Do you already wear contact lenses? If so, switching to a costume contact lens is an easy adjustment! Informing your technician of your interest will allow us to provide ADDITIONAL choices during your examination and fitting.

However, for those who do not wear contact lenses currently it’s important to receive adequate fitting and training to ensure your Halloween is enjoyable! Use our safety checklist as a guide to healthy Halloween eyes!

Safety Checklist

  1. Visit your eye doctor for a contact lens exam, fitting and prescription (regardless of whether you need vision correction).
  2. Buy contact lenses from a licensed eye care provider or an eye-wear retailer that requires you to have a prescription. Never buy contact lenses from an unlicensed source that doesn’t require a prescription. Doing so greatly increases your risk of serious eye problems.
  3. Always follow your eye care provider’s instructions for wearing and caring for your contact lenses, and visit your eye doctor for follow-up eye exams.
  4. Never share your contact lenses! While it may seem like a fun idea to swap special-effect lenses with your friends, sharing contacts can spread harmful bacteria and may result in serious eye health problems, including loss of vision.
  5. Keep in mind that “crazy” contact lenses generally are designed for daily wear only and are not FDA-approved to be worn overnight.
  6. If you experience any eye redness, swelling or discomfort, immediately remove your contact lenses and contact your eye doctor as soon as possible. This could be the sign of a potentially sight-threatening eye infection.
  7. Wear only hypoallergenic, non-toxic makeup. If makeup is used on a child’s face, it should be applied and removed by an adult. For removal, use eye makeup remover, not soap.
  8. Be aware that false eyelashes also can cause eye irritation. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding safe application and removal. And read our safety information on eyelash extensions if you’re considering those, because they too can irritate eyes.

Don’t buy contact lenses from a flea market, street vendor, beauty salon, Halloween store or similar setting. Such sales are illegal in the U.S., and for good reasons:

  • You might be getting unsafe products that are not FDA-approved for sale in the U.S. Don’t risk your eyes on products that may have been manufactured improperly or don’t have sterile packaging.
  • Even wearing FDA-approved lenses can be dangerous, if they haven’t been specifically fitted to your eyes. Poor-fitting contact lenses can cause serious vision problems, corneal abrasions and infections. Plus, they probably won’t be comfortable to wear!

Watch this video by the FDA on improper use of decorative contact lenses.

According to a 2015 consumer survey sponsored by the American Optometric Association (AOA), 26 percent of Americans who purchased non-corrective color or special-effect contact lenses did not have a valid prescription for the lenses from an eye doctor.

Also, a study published recently in the professional journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that people wearing cosmetic contact lenses (defined as decorative, color and non-corrective lenses, often obtained without a prescription) had more than a 16 times greater risk of developing an eye infection than people wearing standard corrective contact lenses prescribed by an eye doctor.

Don’t allow your eyes become one of those statistics! Contact our office for more information!

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