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The dangers of costume contact lenses

cosmetic contacts

Halloween is just around the corner and while my kids are excited about their skeleton and princess costumes, others may be thinking of enhancing their costumes with decorative contact lenses.

If you are planning on colored contact lenses for your costume, it is important that you see a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist and get FDA-approved lenses. These eye care professionals will make sure that the contact lens you want fits properly and is manufactured correctly.

What can happen

You may be tempted to avoid the hassle of seeing a professional for a prescription. Maybe it might be easier to buy lenses from a costume shop or through an online retailer, but it’s not worth the risk. Wearing unapproved lenses that do not fit properly can result in corneal abrasions and ulcers. These injuries can lead to major eye surgeries such as corneal transplants, and in some cases lead to permanent vision loss.

Some recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

  • Only purchase decorative contact lenses from an eye care professional such as an optometrist, ophthalmologist or a retailer that requires a prescription and sells FDA-approved products.
  • Even of you don’t normally wear glasses or contacts, an eye exam and prescription are still required in order to fit the right size contacts. Do not fall victim to false advertising claims and lenses labeled as “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye specialist.”
  • Follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses. Contacts that are left in for too long or that are not properly cleaned and disinfected can significantly increase the risk of an eye infection.
  • Never share contact lenses with another person or wear expired lenses.
  • If you notice redness, swelling, excessive discharge, pain or discomfort from wearing contact lenses, remove the lenses and seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist.


(Photo credit: American Academy of Ophthalmology)


2 comments on “The dangers of costume contact lenses

  1. crazy contact lenses
    January 3, 2014

    Yes many websites or store sells unapproved lenses which are made of low quality Material which is very dangerous for eyes. Always go for FDA or TDA approved lenses which are used and approved by optometrists.

    September 6, 2018

    It actually a great and useful piece of info. I glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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