Halloween is a fun time filled with scary stories, candy, and costumes. When you want to pull off a perfect zombie, vampire, or other creepy costume, it can be tempting to go to a costume shop or online to purchase decorative contact lenses to push your costume to the next level. These lenses do not correct vision, only alter the appearance of your eyes, so you may not think it is necessary to visit an optometrist to get a prescription.
In reality all contact lenses, including decorative lenses, are considered medical devices by the FDA. While these lenses are not used to correct vision, they still carry a risk of infection or injury, and all wear and care instructions for decorative lenses should be followed closely.
According the FDA, the following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for decorative contact lens wear:
Do’s and Don’ts
Do get an eye exam! A licensed eye doctor will examine your eyes to make sure the contact lenses fit properly. The fit of your contact lenses is very important. A wrong fit can cause damage to your eyes. Be sure to always go for follow-up eye exams.
Do get a prescription! Your eye doctor will write you a prescription for all contact lenses, including decorative lenses. The prescription should include the brand name, correct lens measurements and expiration date.
Do follow the contact lens care instructions! Follow the instructions for wearing, cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses that come with your contact lenses. If you do not receive instructions, ask an eye doctor for them.
Do seek medical attention right away and remove your contact lenses if your eyes are red, have ongoing pain or discharge! Redness, pain and discharge from the eyes are signs of an eye infection. If you think you have an eye infection from your contact lenses, remove them and see an eye doctor right away.
Don’t share your contact lenses with anyone else! You wouldn’t share your toothbrush would you? All eyes are not the same size and shape and your contact lenses are fitted just for you.
Don’t buy any contact lenses without a prescription! If you don’t see an eye doctor and get a prescription, then the contact lenses you get may not fit properly and may not work well. They could even damage your eyes. Sometimes wearing contact lenses can damage the top layer of your eyeball (cornea). Even if you aren’t having any problems now, the lenses still could be causing damage to your eyes. By having regular checkups and buying contact lenses with a prescription, you will reduce the chances of any undetected damage to your eyes
Don’t let your eyes be the star of your next Halloween horror story!
-The Optix Team