Special effects contact lenses have become more popular over the last few years, especially around Halloween. Unfortunately, they are also a growing health problem.
Despite efforts to crack down on the illegal sale of contact lenses, they are still available through some costume shops, online retailers, thrift stores, beauty shops and even gas stations. Consumers who are unfamiliar with wearing contact lenses don’t always know how to wear them with proper care. This makes for a disastrous witches brew for the eyes!
While many sellers and buyers perceive costume contacts as an accessory or cosmetic, the fact is they are medical devices, regulated by the FDA. This means a prescription from your eye doctor is necessary for the legal purchase of them, whether they change your eye color to yellow or not. Even if you are not wearing them for vision correction, you still need a prescription.
A poor fit can cause serious damage to your eyes, including corneal abrasions, bacterial infections, reduced vision and pink eye. A Japanese study found that some costume contacts contain chemicals like chlorine, titanium and iron. Additionally some of the decorative features create an uneven lens surface that can result in corneal damage.
Halloween is one night. Your eyes need to last a lifetime. We recommend sticking to costumes that don’t require costume contacts. But if you decide special effects contacts are a must for you, make sure you get a prescription from us and purchase your lenses only from a reputable vendor that requires one.