Using decorative contact lenses may seem like a harmless way to enhance your Halloween costume, but choosing to change the color of your eyes from brown to blue, or make your eyes look like cat or vampire eyes may be hazardous to your eyesight if you use them without an eye-care professional’s medical opinion and guidance.
Decorative contact lenses are known by several names. Among them are:
- fashion contact lenses
- Halloween contact lenses
- colored contact lenses
- cosmetic contact lenses
- theatre contact lenses
To ensure an incident-free Halloween follow these simple guidelines.
How Do Decorative Contact Lenses Work?
Decorative contact lenses completely mask the natural color of your eyes by using a non-transparent tint. The center of the lens surrounding the pupil, however, is clear. This allows you to be able to see, assuming they are fitted properly. The lenses come in a variety of colors and designs, making it an effective accessory for many different Halloween costumes, although they are popular year ‘round. While decorative contact lenses may seem like a harmless and creative addition to your costume, there are risks you should be aware of before using them.
What Are the Risks Associated with Decorative Contact Lenses?
All contact lenses – even decorative lenses that do not correct vision – are classified as medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. In fact, it is illegal for retailers to sell them over-the-counter, or on the Internet without a prescription in the United States. They are breaking the law and may face penalties if they do.
You should never purchase decorative contact lenses, for any reason, from a retailer that does not require a prescription. Lenses that are not properly fitted to your eyes can lead to serious complications, including bacterial infections, swelling, abrasion, corneal disease, eye pain, conjunctivitis (pink eye) or even permanent loss of sight.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends following these safety guidelines:
- Schedule an eye exam with a licensed eye care professional such as an ophthalmologist.
- Obtain a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurement, and expiration date of the contact lenses.
- Follow the directions on the prescription carefully. This is important for cleaning, disinfecting and learning to apply the lens.
- See an eye care professional immediately if you experience any eye discomfort, irritation, decreased vision or redness when wearing any type of contact lenses.
- Never share contact lenses with friends or family. Sharing puts you at an increased risk for conjunctivitis (pink eye).
- Follow-up with your eye care provider.
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween by Scheduling an Eye Exam Today
At Eye Physicians of North Houston, our team of professionals will measure your eyes to properly fit the lenses, as well as evaluate how your eyes respond to them. Make your Halloween a success by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam today! You can schedule an appointment with Eye Physicians of North Houston by contacting us at (281) 893-1760, or visiting us online at www.1960eye.com.