What You Need to Know About Halloween Contact Lenses

In recent years, decorative contacts have grown in popularity, especially around the Halloween season to add a finishing touch on spooky costumes. Halloween contact lenses, also known as costume or decorative lenses, alter the color and pupil shape of the eye in just a matter of seconds. They’re also available with or without vision correction to add special effects and dimension. However, while it may be tempting to reach for a pair of cat-eye or zombie lenses to accompany your ensemble, it’s important to know the facts first. Continue on to learn more about Halloween contact lenses.

An Eye Exam is Necessary

Halloween contact lenses feature

Halloween contacts are commonly available in pop-up shops, boutiques, and online retailers. Although, just because you can purchase them doesn’t mean that it is safe to do so. In fact, wearing contact lenses from an unknown website without an eye exam or a prescription from a doctor can cause irreversible eye damage. For this very reason, it’s important to visit an eye doctor first who will prescribe the correct shape and size lens to fit your eye. All in all, never purchase contacts from these locations.

Beware of ‘One Size Fits All’ Brands

In the United States, it’s illegal to sell contact lenses without a prescription from an eye care professional. However, that does not mean that every store sells FDA-approved lenses. So, pay special attention to any packaging that claims that their lenses are ‘one size fits all’ or there is ‘no need to see an eye doctor with purchase’. It’s best to assume this information is false.

The Potential Damage is Serious

Because contact lenses are worn directly on the cornea, they can cause serious damage if worn improperly. Besides vision blindness, non-prescription costume contacts can cut and scratch the surface of the eye. Ill-fitting lenses can also cause corneal ulcers that may lead to serious bacterial infections. In addition, some un-regulated contacts can block oxygen flow to the eye as a result of paints found within the lens. These contact lenses are often thicker and less breathable, therefore disrupting the tear production and nourishment that the eye needs.

Purchase FDA-Approved Lenses Only

The best way to ensure that your contact lenses are FDA-approved is to purchase them directly from your eye doctor. Not only will your lenses fit correctly, but they will also contain safe high-quality ingredients. In particular, FDA-approved lenses are made of materials that are breathable and allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea.

Some Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t share your lenses with anyone.
  • Don’t wear them for more than 8 hours.
  • Do follow the instructions for proper wear and care given to you by your eye doctor.
  • Never wear the lenses beyond the expiration date.
  • Don’t soak or clean the contacts in water.
  • Don’t sleep with your lenses in.

Make an Eye Appointment Today

If you are interested in wearing Halloween contact lenses this year, call Looking Glass Optical to set up an appointment today. We can fit you with the proper lenses, with or without a prescription. Furthermore, we sell a variety of costume lenses in store to fit your unique style and needs. Give us a call at 410-768-0202 or make an appointment online.