Nothing quite completes a Halloween costume like a pair of theatrical contact lenses. But whether you’re going for bright green witch eyes or glow-in-the-dark cat eyes, never purchase costume lenses without a prescription and proper fitting by an eye doctor. Not seeing an eye doctor can set you up for serious eye problems, infections, or even permanent vision loss.
Risk of Infection
One study in France revealed that costume contact lenses were 12 times more likely to cause an eye infection than those who wore conventional contact lenses. Many of these types of lenses claim to be “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” but these are false advertising claims. Lenses that are not properly fitted can cause serious eye issues.
Many of the lenses found online or in novelty shops are not FDA-approved and are being sold illegally. Since 2005, the FDA has classified all contact lenses as medical devices that can only be sold by licensed eye care professionals. In fact, retailers that sell contacts without a prescription may be fined $11,000 per violation.
Accessible to young people
According to a study published in the journal Cornea, many of the patients suffering from complications from colored contacts are young people with an average age of 19 years. Many of the young people who wear these lenses have never worn contacts and have never talked to an eye doctor about proper care and hygiene.
Avoid circle lenses entirely
Circle lenses are decorative lenses that cover a bigger area of the eye past the iris creating a look similar of Anime cartoon characters. These lenses have been illegal in the United States since 2005. Since the industry is unregulated, the lenses may not have been disinfected properly before sale making them even more of a risk to your eyes.