Its time to start thinking about enhancing your Halloween costume and prescription costume contact lenses are the perfect finishing touch to any spectacular costume! If you are considering using costume contact lenses as part of your Halloween get-up this season, make sure you don’t purchase them from a gas station, online store, nail salon or other unlicensed dealer—or you and your eyes could be in for a real scare.
We’ve seen many cases during past Halloween seasons, where people who wore illegal costume OTC lenses ended up with an eye injury or inflammation. One of the more serious risks people face when wearing costume OTC lenses is developing a corneal ulcer. This happens when a bacterial infection occurs under the lens and can cause pain, irritation, discomfort and possible blindness.
OTC lenses can also cause corneal abrasions and conjunctivitis
This occurs when the lenses injure or scratch the eyes. If they are not tailored to a person’s eyes, the lenses may scratch or cause an infection, particularly if they are not kept clean with the correct solution or by not fitting properly and/or people don’t receive or follow proper instructions on how to insert, remove and sterilize lenses.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the potential risks associated with non-prescription, decorative lenses include:
- Corneal ulcer
- Corneal abrasions
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Allergic reactions like itchy, inflamed, watery red eyes that doesn’t go away with increased discomfort
- Decreased vision or light sensitivity
Adolescents and young adults are the most common groups affected by the risks associated with some decorative contact lenses, according to the FDA. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that when decorative contact lenses are sold without a prescription and without proper fitting and education about wear and care from an eye-care professional, the potential for permanent eye damage–including blindness increases.
Cosmetic contact lenses are easy to find and are often sold illegally without a prescription online, novelty shops, barber shops, beauty salons, mall kiosks, Halloween costume stores, convenience stores and even gas stations. Because contacts are a medical device that is regulated by the FDA, it is illegal to sell contacts without a prescription and any supplier who doesn’t require a prescription is breaking the law.
Be Safe – use costume OTC lenses only with a prescription by your eye doctor
Our Optometrists can fit and prescribe safe, decorative costume lenses for you and we have a great selection
Your doctor will be sure that the decorative lenses that are prescribed for you are FDA approved for use on the eye and that the lenses fit your eyes appropriately. Once you have the prescription for your decorative lenses and you’ve bought them, we will be sure to show you to how to properly insert and care for safe wearing.
Call us about our costume lenses and be sure to order by October 18th to be in time for Halloween!