If you’re considering buying costume, colored, or decorative contact lenses to put extra spookiness into your Halloween costume this year, you may find the dangers frightening.
Many people believe you can buy decorative contact lenses over the counter as though they were fashion accessories. But it’s illegal to sell contact lenses without a prescription.
Why Are they Illegal? What’s the Harm?
Your eyes are extremely delicate. If the contact lenses you wear aren’t medically safe, they can cause eye injuries, pink eye, more serious infections, and at the worst, permanent vision loss.
One study found that wearing costume contact lenses increased the risk of developing keratitis (a potentially blinding infection that causes an ulcer on the eye) by more than 16 times, compared to people who wear regular contacts. Unfortunately, 60% of patients who developed keratitis from wearing non-prescription costume contact lenses in this study suffered permanent vision loss.
If you want to alter your optical look this Halloween, be sure to get your costume contact lenses prescribed by an eye care professional, even if you don’t need vision correction.
Ignoring this advice, and wearing non-FDA-approved lenses, could make this Halloween the scariest one you’ve ever seen.