Safety Eye Care Tips for Halloween

Colored costume eye contacts. Eye Care of Delaware.
Photo by Kagai19927 for Shutterstock.

Halloween is just around the corner, a fact that’s almost too hard to believe! Without a doubt, your kids and teenagers have been excitedly been picking out the perfect costume to wear trick-or-treating or to a party. Costumes are only getting more intricate these days, and no doubt you’ve seen the colored contact lenses you can wear to change your iris color to something spooky, or costume-specific. However, there’s a danger here. In an instant, the wearer can become blind, or suffer one of the many complications that can come with using un-prescribed contact lenses that are not regulated. Here are some eye care safety tips for this Halloween from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Make Sure They Are Legal

Colored contact lenses are fine to wear – but only if they are a specific kind that have been prescribed to you by a doctor. Did you know it is absolutely illegal to sell contact lenses that do not require a prescription to purchase? That’s for a good reason. Contact lenses are not “one size fits all,” contrary to what the packaging claims. Because they may not fit your eye properly, the contacts can cut or scratch the eye, allowing bacteria to get in, leading to an infection that can be potentially blinding. Retailers that sell these contacts are breaking federal law just as much as the fake brands that created them are, and both should be reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Know What Could Happen

Besides the worst-case scenario of permanent blindness from these contacts, it’s important to know the other conditions that could occur, and why. Every illegal contact lens is different, but besides being sharp and able to penetrate your eyeball, these lenses could easily prevent oxygen from passing through them. Prescribed lenses are designed to allow oxygen to pass through. Plus, the pigmentation could also add to the weight on your eyes. If you’ve been afflicted by one of these fake lenses, it could require surgery or other treatments, and unfortunately there’s no guarantee of success for everyone. Among the list of dangers, the American Academy of Ophthalmology lists these possibilities: corneal abrasions, ulcers, and bacterial infections like keratitis wreaking havoc on eyes.

Talk to Your Ophthalmologist Today

People frequently choose a colored contact lens if they want to make a slight cosmetic change. But please be safe – you must do it through your eye doctor who properly examines you, measures your eyes, and assesses how long you should be wearing them, among other stipulations. If you want to do this, for Halloween or another special event, this is the route you need to take for safety.

Eye Care of Delaware is a Cataract and Laser Center based in Newark that serves many patients from surrounding states as well. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling 302-454-8800 for any cataract treatments, glaucoma treatments, and more.