Wearing those fancy colored contact lenses sold at costume shops or on the internet may help you look realistically freaky on Halloween but eye experts warn that the accessory can potentially cause serious damage to your eyes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warned that these widely sold decorative contact lenses are not FDA-approved. In the United States, contact lenses are considered medical devices and are regulated, which means that those sold over-the-counter in novelty shops, pop-up Halloween stores, beauty salons and online are being sold illegally.
Dangers Of Using Decorative Lenses
These colored contact lenses may contain potentially dangerous ingredients. In a 2015 research published in the journal Eye & Contact Lens, researchers found that non-prescription contact lenses contain toxic ingredients such as iron and chlorine to give color and produce patterns on the lenses. In the study, researchers also found that some of these fancy lenses have an uneven texture that can scratch the surface of the eyes.
Another problem with these lenses is their fit. These lenses are generally sold as one-size-fits-all. Unfortunately, people’s eyes are different and this can cause problems. Contact lenses that do not fit properly can cause irritated eyes and eye infections. According to Dr. Emily MacQuaid, of the Katzen Eye Group, irritation of the eye is often an indication of an improper fit.
The AAO further warned that these contact lenses can cause corneal ulcers, open sores on the eye’s outer layer. These accessories may also cause keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea that may result in scarring that can impair the vision or even cause blindness. Contacts that scratch the eye or fit poorly may cause bacterial infection.
FDA- Approved Lenses For Your Halloween Costume
Despite the dangers of using non-prescription contact lenses, experts said it is still possible to safely wear lenses as part of a Halloween costume.
AAO spokesperson Thomas Steinemann said that people who want to use special lenses can go to an eye care professional. You can inform them that you want to wear costume lenses, get fitted and receive a pair approved by the FDA.
Get Safe Contact Lenses
Our eye experts at See Island Eyecare can help provide you with contact lenses you can safely use without fear of risking your eyes to infections. Contact us to set an appointment.