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26th Oct 2023

Optician warns of dangers of wearing Halloween contact lenses

Jody Coffey

We can look cool while being safe!

Halloween costumes are likely picked and bought by now, but if your child’s fit is finished off with a pair of coloured eye contacts, an optician has shared some tips to ensure maximum safety.

The first thing to point out is that contact lenses should only be purchased when you visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up or with an optician’s prescription.

However, around Halloween cosmetic lens – with and without powers – surge in popularity to complete costume looks, and it really matter where they are bought when it comes to eye care.

Tina Patel, at Feel Good Contacts warns that even if you don’t require vision correction, you still need to visit an optician to ensure that contact lenses are suitable for your eyes.

At Halloween, many other outlets may sell seasonal lenses, but Patel strongly urges people not to buy them.

“It is advisable that you avoid buying them from salons, beauty supply stores, boutiques, flea markets, novelty stores, Halloween stores, convenience stores or untrustworthy internet retailers.

“These outlets may not abide by the same safety standards and regulations as a reputable contact lens retailer.”

What are the dangers of wearing non-prescribed contact lenses?

Patel says there are risks associated with lenses purchased from non-optical establishments, such as unwanted eye-related conditions, including, but not limited to; corneal infection, scratches on the cornea, conjunctivitis, and reduced vision.

Halloween contact lenses safety tips

1. Before buying your contact lenses you should visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up.

2. Buy the lenses from an eye care professional or vendor that requires a prescription.

3. Always put your lenses in before applying your Halloween make up and take them out before you remove your makeup.

4. Do not share your lenses with anyone.  By sharing, you increase the possibility of spreading eye conditions and corneal infections.

5. Follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses (do not use water).

6. Do not overuse your lenses. If it is a single use lens, then only wear it for the day and do not exceed the recommended wearing time. If in doubt, follow the manufacturers’ instructions.

7. Do not sleep with your cosmetic lenses in. The lenses will become misaligned, irritate your eyes and in a worst-case scenario, permanently damage your eyes.

8. If you suffer from any pain, redness, discomfort, itching, swelling or irritation then remove your lenses immediately. Consult an optician or visit A&E in a hospital that has an eye department and get your eyes treated as soon as possible.