Costume contact lenses, also referred to as decorative or cosmetic contacts, include any type of contact lenses that do not correct vision, but are meant to change the appearance of your eyes. These specialty contacts might put a finishing flourish on your costume, but you might want to reconsider using creepy contact lenses this Halloween. From blackout lenses that truly turn you into a vampire, to lenses shaped like cats’ corneas, these lenses seem like the perfect way to pump up your costume this year, but these lenses could put your eyes at risk for irritation, infection or even blindness.
According to the Baltimore Sun, a whopping 28 percent of people buy contacts from shady sources like gas stations, salons and online. Buying from these places can have consequences — according to the FDA, selling lenses without a prescription is illegal!
These lenses also put your eyes at risk. The American Optometric Association recommends all contact lenses should be fitted by a physician, because poorly fitted or cheap contact lenses can introduce bacteria to the eyes, causing allergic reactions or even blindness. Lenses that aren’t fitted properly can scratch the cornea or prevent it from getting the moisture it needs from tears which can lead to irritation and infection. At the most extreme, these lenses can lead to painful corneal ulcers which cause light sensitivity and vision changes.
To add these lenses to your Halloween style, visit your ophthalmologist who can provide you with a quality brand that’s the right size for your eye. Protect your peepers and avoid online sellers, and don’t purchase these lenses from other sources. Children should be careful using contact lenses and should always be supervised by an adult. As with regular contact lenses, use good hygiene practices too: make sure to wash your hands before handling lenses, keep them properly cleaned and disinfected and never share or swap contacts with friends.