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Keep your eyes safe on Halloween

Keep your eyes safe on Halloween

Don’t let an eye infection be the scariest part of your Halloween. All contact lenses must be prescribed by a doctor, including decorative lenses. Any contact lenses that are not prescribed by a doctor are illegal and could cause you harm.

Just like corrective contact lenses, you should never buy contact lenses from a street vendor, beauty supply store, flea market, novelty store or Halloween store—and you should always have a prescription.

Decorative lenses purchased without a prescription may not fit properly, leaving the eye more susceptible to scratches on the outer layer of the eye, or getting an ulcer (an open sore) on the cornea- the clear covering over the front of the eye. The result of a scratch or sore can be scarring, infection, and permanent vision reduction or loss.

There are many names for contact lenses that are used to change the appearance of the eyes, including cosmetic, theatrical, Halloween, circle, decorative, costume, or colored contact lenses. These types of lenses may also be used to improve vision. Whether they improve vision or not, all contact lenses require a prescription and proper care to lower the risk of eye infections and other complications.

People who wear any type of contact lenses need to practice proper wear and care steps to keep their eyes healthy. No type of contact lens is risk-free. Improper care of contact lenses increases the chances of infections and other complications. When decorative contact lenses are sold without a prescription, proper fitting, and education about wear and care from an eye doctor, there appears to be a greater risk of permanent eye damage—even blindness.

Wearing decorative contact lenses can be risky. These risks include:

  • A cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (Corneal Abrasion)
  • Allergic reactions like itchy, watery red eyes
  • Decreased vision
  • Infection
  • Blindness

Do's and don'ts of decorative and Halloween lenses

Do get an eye exam! A licensed eye doctor will examine your eyes to make sure the contact lenses fit properly. The fit of your contact lenses is very important. A wrong fit can cause damage to your eyes. Be sure to always go for follow-up eye exams as instructed by your doctor.

Do get a prescription! All contact lenses should be prescribed by a doctor, including decorative lenses. The prescription should include the brand name, correct lens measurements and expiration date.

Do follow the contact lens care instructions! Follow the instructions for wearing, cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses that come with your contact lenses. If you do not receive instructions, ask an eye doctor for them.

Do seek medical attention right away and remove your contact lenses if your eyes are red, have ongoing pain or discharge! Redness, pain and discharge from the eyes are signs of an eye infection. If you think you have an eye infection from your contact lenses, remove them and see an eye doctor right away.

Don't share your contact lenses with anyone else! You wouldn't share your toothbrush, would you? All eyes are not the same size and shape and your contact lenses are fitted just for you.

Don't buy any contact lenses without a prescription! If you don't see an eye doctor and get a prescription, then the contact lenses you get may not fit properly and may not work well. They could even damage your eyes. Sometimes wearing contact lenses can damage the top layer of your eyeball (cornea). Even if you aren't having any problems now, the lenses still could be causing damage to your eyes. By having regular checkups and buying contact lenses with a prescription, you will reduce the chances of any undetected damage to your eyes.

Educate yourself and others about the dangers (including eye sores and vision loss) of using decorative contact lenses without a prescription. Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween and practice healthy contact lens wear and care.

Share to spread awareness!