Decked out in your spectacular Hallowe’en costume, just needing the final touch……the eyes! Costume contact lenses have been available for many years and in October the subject comes up every year. This article will address some of the concerns and dangers of wearing costume contact lenses.
All contact lens wear has some risks, including infection. And as such, contact lenses need to be designed and prescribed by an eye doctor with experience in contact lenses. All contacts require a doctor’s prescription, even if there is no correction of the vision. Even though some stores will sell costume contact lenses, it is illegal in every state to do so. The reasons are simple – all contact lenses involve risk. Unsupervised contact lens use can lead to eye infections and abrasions, some sight-threatening.
When your eye doctor prescribes contact lenses, they don’t just say “here are you contacts, good luck.”. No, the doctor of the staff train you how to clean and disinfect the contact lenses, what to do when you’re having a problem, and what to look for to prevent infections and other complications. Your eye doctor understands that contact lenses are serious business. But unfortunately, eye doctors will see patients every year who have had a bad experience with costume contact lenses.
This is not say that costume lenses are by themselves the problem. It’s the unsupervised use of these contact lenses that is frought with complications. So, if you want to go to this year’s Hallowe’en bash with an amazing set of spooky eyes, ask your eye doctor to fit you in a pair. Allow some time to get used to the contact lenses prior to the event so that any issues can be resolved ahead of time.
Also keep in mind that some of the costume contact lenses may affect your peripheral vision. They are not recommended for driving – especially on a night known for parties. So, use common sense. See your eye doctor first, drive carefully or not at all, and fun. And don’t forget to take your contact lenses off before you go to sleep!