It’s that time of year again – time for fake cobwebs, carved pumpkins, and eye-catching costumes. That’s right; it’s Halloween. You may already know that you should limit your sugar intake on this treat-filled holiday and to be cautious of your surroundings, but I’m here to give you a heads up on something costume-related: decorative contact lenses.
These contacts, also known as fashion contact lenses, Halloween contact lenses, colored contact lenses, cosmetic contact lenses, or theatre contact lenses, are offered on dozens of sites, like. They may seem like a treat, but if not properly fitted by professionals, they can cause lasting damage.
According to the FDA (and many optometrists agree), decorative contacts are actually considered medical devices, as they undergo the same tests as those which you use to correct your vision. Though this may sound like a good thing, Andrea P. Thau, president of the American Optometric Association (AOA), warns us to stay away from questionable sources and always get prescriptions.
Risk or Treat?
Without properly prescribed lenses, you are risking your own eyesight. More specifically, illegally purchased lenses could cause:
Scratches on the cornea
Corneal infection (an ulcer on the cornea)
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Pain the eye(s)
As an expert in the field, I’ve seen the effects of sharing contacts. Just as costume contacts can cause lasting damage, so can your best friend’s extra pair. Do not fear – you can still get decorative contacts (the right way). When purchasing lenses, just use one rule of thumb: only buy contact lenses from a company that sells lenses and requires you to provide a prescription. With Halloween approaching near, be wise about your eyes this year!