With each passing year, Halloween costumes get more intricate and flamboyant. Many young people and adults feel the pressure to find the perfect costume and pull together their look for events at school, work and on their social scene. Add to this pressures of social media and any of us can feel the need to go “all out.” For many, costumes are not complete without non-prescription colored contact lenses. But are Halloween contacts safe?
Let’s start this article with a disclaimer. It is important to not wear any contacts except those prescribed by your eye health practitioner. Wearing non-prescription colored contact lenses as part of a Halloween costume can cause many eye problems that damage your eyes. Cheaply made Halloween contacts carry many risks that we describe below.
There are many names for non-prescription colored contact lenses. These names include theatrical, cosmetic, decorative, costume, cosplay, circle, colored and Halloween contacts. Whatever name they bear on the market, contact lenses bought without an eye doctor’s prescription put your eye health at risk.
Although these lenses are illegal, it is still easy to find them. Unfortunately, many young people and adults buy and wear them for Halloween or at other times of year. Law enforcement authorities rarely stop stores that sell these lenses or their customers from buying them.
Non-prescription colored contact lenses generally do not fit correctly. Most, if not all, prevent healthy tear exchange and eye movement. As a result, wearing them can lead to dry eye condition or other problems. The ill effects of Halloween contacts can be short-term or permanent.
Your eyes are delicate. This is why it is so astounding to eye doctors that people are willing to wear unregulated non-prescription colored contact lenses. The unlicensed manufacturers making illegal Halloween contacts generally use cheap materials.
When you wear costume lenses, the poorly-made plastic you place in your eyes can actually contain toxins like lead. In fact, lead is one of the key ingredients used to give many of these contacts their color. Your eyes absorb the toxic lead into your bloodstream.
Illegal contact lenses also frequently contain bacteria. Unlicensed manufacturers do not follow stringent FDA requirements for manufacturing and packaging of these lenses. As a result, the lenses face exposure to a wide range of contaminants before they reach your hands. You will never know what bacteria or toxins are on your lenses when you put them in your eyes.
Even worse than wearing these non-prescription colored contact lenses for Halloween is wearing them for multiple occasions. Due to social media pressures and for other reasons, some people buy these illegal Halloween contacts to alter the look of their natural eye color. Long-term wear only makes you more vulnerable to the dangers of these sub-par lenses.
Wearing any contact lenses bought without a prescription can cause a range of eye health problems. These problems include:
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Eye health complications caused by non-prescription colored contact lenses are not always temporary. It is very possible to suffer permanent vision problems or vision loss. In fact, bacterial infections of the eye progress rapidly. They can lead to ulcers on the eye and even blindness in as little as 24 hours.
If you want to wear colored contact lenses, it is possible to do so safely. You simply need to visit your eye doctor at your nearest Clarity Vision Eye Care Center. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will provide an eye exam and a prescription for professionally fitted lenses made by a licensed manufacturer. You can buy your colored contacts at the same location of Clarity Vision where you have your eye exam.
Remember, unless you buy Halloween contacts or everyday colored contacts with a prescription, your lenses are not safe or legal. Protect your vision and visit your Clarity Vision eye care professional for prescription contact lenses today.