The American Association of Ophthalmology continue to warn people about the dangers of costume contact lenses. Halloween is just around the corner. Despite the pandemic, many are still planning to celebrate the occasion by wearing costumes. To complete their supernatural look, they are willing to wear unique contacts without prescription. While these lenses allow you to have a spine-chilling gaze, they are not healthy for your eyes. If you want to understand the risks of Halloween costume contacts, here’s what you should know.
In the United States, novelty lenses are not classified as cosmetic products. If a store sells them, that store is breaking the law because they cannot sell these lenses without a prescription. You can get them from novelty stores, flea markets, thrift stores, boutiques, and street vendors. When you purchase costume lenses easily from any of these stores, it is an illegal transaction. Experts say that you are then participating in an unlawful trade involving a product without FDA approval. Online and offline stores in the U.S. sell these lenses at extremely low prices. You have no way of determining if the stores are selling high-quality lenses or extremely dangerous ones.
Clinical studies show that your risk of getting keratitis increases by about 16 times if you wear costume contacts. If caught early, your eye doctor in Wichita, KS can give you steroid drops or antibiotics to save your eyesight. If it gets worse, you may need a corneal transplant. There are cases when people buy non-prescription contact lenses and later suffer from an eye infection. Although the infection is treated early, they still experience blurry vision and dry eye syndrome.
Even if it’s fun to do during Halloween, never trade or share contact lenses even with family or friends. If you do, there is a high risk that you can contract eye infections such as pink eye. This infection is highly communicable. Its treatment depends on its cause. Usually, eye doctors prescribe antibiotic drops to eliminate it.
Generally, if contact lenses do not fit your eyes properly, they will most likely scratch your eyes’ front window. Eye care providers refer to this condition as corneal abrasion. When your cornea has a scratch, it is painful and can lead to lasting eye damage. If you decide to wear novelty contacts, it is highly likely that they will damage the outer surface of your eyes. The injury will be worse if the lenses adhere to your eyes too much. Treatment for corneal abrasion involves patching after some medication. Take note that some cases result in irreversible eye damage. This may leave you with a drooping eyelid, corneal scarring, or even impaired vision.
Minor damage or infection from wearing novelty contacts cause a reduction in vision. More severe cases result in major surgeries that often lead to blindness.
You still have time to decide on a Halloween costume that does not need novelty contact lenses. At TMS Eyecare, we always tell our patients to wear only contact lenses that have a proper prescription. Please call us at 316-669-4760 (Oak Creek), 316-686-7212 (21st and Estelle), or 620-442-2577 (Arkansas City) to schedule your appointment or answer your questions about our prescription colored contacts.