October 10, 2019

Dangers of Decorative Contacts

Decorative contact lenses are especially popular in the month of October, when they are often worn to accessorize Halloween costumes.  It is important to know that these are regulated just the same as any other contact lens and need to have a valid contact lens prescription.  A business selling decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription is in direct violation of federal law.

All contact lenses have health risks associated with them if they are worn or taken care of improperly.  It doesn’t matter if there is a prescription needed or if they are only worn to change the appearance of the eyes.  These risks are from poor fitting and/or improper use or cleaning of the lenses.  Often, if consumers have received these lenses from an invalid prescription, the business has not taken the time to educate on the proper wear and care of contact lenses.

Risks associated with the improper use of decorative contact lenses include conjunctivitis (eye infection), corneal ulcers, swelling of the eye, allergic reactions, and corneal abrasions due to poor lens fit. Additional medical problems may result in a reduction of visual acuity (sight) and even blindness.

If you must use decorative contact lenses for Halloween, here are some tips to know!

  • Come see us before you order contact lenses to get a fitting and evaluation.
  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses. Make sure your solution can disinfect.   Saline solution and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.
  • Store lenses in the proper lens storage case, and replace the case every three months or sooner. Clean the case after each use and keep it open and dry between cleanings.
  • Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never re-use old solution.
  • Contact lens solution must be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily.
  • Remove contact lenses before swimming or entering a hot tub.

These decorative lenses can make an impact on a Halloween costume, but our hope is that they won’t make an impact on your eye health!