How To Protect Your Eyes While Wearing Halloween-Themed Contact Lenses

Halloween jack-o'-lanterns

Are Halloween-Themed Contact Lenses Safe?

Colorful contact lenses definitely add a little extra flair to your costume if you're planning to be a zombie, vampire or other fictional creature for Halloween. Unfortunately, wearing over-the-counter lenses for just one evening could harm your eyes.

Novelty Contact Lenses May Increase Your Risk of Eye Injury and Infection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates contact lens sales to ensure that the lenses are safe to wear. Many novelty lenses haven't received FDA approval and are brought into the country illegally. Those lenses may contain bacteria and other contaminants or may be poorly made.

This past June, a Florida woman was convicted of selling counterfeit contact lenses that contained microbial contamination. Law enforcement officials seized 600 lenses imported from China during an undercover operation in Pensacola.

Although the counterfeit lenses looked perfectly fine, anyone who wore them may have soon developed a terrible eye infection. In fact, infections can occur just hours after you wear contaminated lenses and may cause permanent vision changes or even vision loss if you don't receive prompt treatment.

Novelty lenses are often available in one size only. Unfortunately, everyone's eyes aren't the same size. Wearing lenses that don't fit your eyes properly can lead to scratches or sores on your cornea, the clear layer of tissue that covers your iris and pupil. If scars develop as a result of infections or sores, your vision may never be the same again.

Signs that may indicate an infection or eye injury include:

  • Pain
  • Change in Vision or Double Vision
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Redness
  • Burning or Itching
  • Discharge
  • Constant Tearing
  • Foreign Body Sensation

Buying Prescription Lenses Offers a Safer Solution

The safest lenses are those approved by the FDA and prescribed by an optometrist. During your appointment, your eye doctor measures the curvature of your cornea and the size of your irises and pupil to determine the ideal lens size for you. It's important to visit an eye doctor whether you need contacts to see better or just want to wear the lenses as part of a Halloween costume.

Your optometrist or his staff will also teach you how to insert, remove and safely care for your lenses. Infections can occur if you don't follow proper care instructions, even if your lenses were prescribed by an optometrist.

9 Tips That Will Help Protect Your Eyes This Halloween

Keep these tips in mind if you're interested in changing the color or appearance of your eyes to compliment your Halloween costume:

  • See an optometrist for an eye examination and contact lens fitting.
  • Buy your lenses from a company that requires a prescription from an eye doctor.
  • Don't wear costume lenses overnight.
  • Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
  • Follow your optometrist's cleaning and disinfecting instructions to prevent infections.
  • Put your lenses in before you apply Halloween makeup. At the end of the night, take out your contacts before you remove your makeup.
  • Remove the lenses if they're uncomfortable or irritate your eyes.
  • Call your optometrist immediately if you notice any signs of an infection or inflammation.
  • Don't share contact lenses with your friends, even if they're non-prescription. Sharing lenses can increase your risk of infection.

Would a pair of colorful contacts be the perfect finishing touch for your Halloween costume? Don't put your vision at risk by purchasing over-the-counter novelty contact lenses. Contact us to schedule a contact lens examination with an optometrist.

Sources:

U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida: Pensacola Woman Pleads Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Contact Lenses, 6/27/19

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndfl/pr/pensacola-woman-pleads-guilty-selling-counterfeit-contact-lenses

All About Vision: Halloween Contact Lenses and Other Special-Effect Contacts, 10/17/18

https://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/theatrical.htm

American Optometric Association: Halloween Hazard: Never Buy Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription, 9/14/18

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/scary-lenses

CDC: Keep Your Eyes Safe on Halloween

https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/keep-eyes-safe-halloween.html

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: ‘Colored’ and Decorative Contact Lenses

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/colored-and-decorative-contact-lenses-prescription-must

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-4:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Wonderful experience! From the moment I walked in, I felt at ease and comfortable. The staff is welcoming, friendly, and personable. I would highly recommend Dr. Huser and her team."
    Kelly R.
  • "I'm always greeted well as soon as I walk in. The wait time is nonexistent, besides there's coffee or water to enjoy before going in (if there is a wait). Plenty of time to check out new frames & of course the glass bowl of Hershey kisses awaits you.Dr.Huser is honest and really cares. I don't ever feel like just another number. The staff all work as a team and you can tell they all love their job. Makes me want to work there."
    Maria E.
  • "Met Dr. Tekell for my annual appointment. She is very personable and professional. So easy to talk to. It was a very good appointment. So glad to see that although Dr. Jackman is not physically here anymore, his staff is continuing his great practice! Sure do miss him!"
    Ruby A.
  • "I have always had a wonderful experience at this location with all of their personnel and with the doctors. I have complete confidence in the accuracy of the exam. The excellent help of the staff ensures that the fit of the frames and of the way the lens sit in the frames is perfect. My previous frames were made with expert precision and durability, and have lasted for the past 4 years with no problems. They were built to last and that is hard to find in this day and age. If I could give a perfect 10 rating, I would."
    Kelly C.
  • "My 1st visit was in 2016 with Dr. Huser. She was terrific: engaged, knowledgeable, excellent communication skills. I later recommended her to my husband, and was even more pleased with the outcome. She diagnosed the source of his chronic eye irritation — relieving us of the fear that it might be a permanent result of surgery he’d had elsewhere — and offered some simple interventions which have actually worked. Saw Dr. Tekell recently when Dr. Huser was out of the office and was similarly impressed. This is a quality practice and they’ve assembled a great team — excellent optometrists, supported by friendly and helpful staff, and opticians who know their stuff, too."
    Kathleen G.
  • "Beautiful, well organized and impeccably functioning office. Extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff. Outstanding doctor with great care. Overall a wonderful experience, thank you!"
    Casey S.
  • "I absolutely LOVED the selection of glasses onsite!!! All the latest trends from conservative to super funky and fun! The staff is all very friendly and Dr. Huser's was fabulous! It's so wonderful to have a place like this accessible to Tricare/Military insurance holders."
    Brittney G.
  • "Best eye exam i have ever had. Period. Dr. Huser is AWESOME!"
    Jason M.
  • "Absolutely had the best experience! Jan is a star in my eyes filled with kindness and professionalism. The entire crew was super nice and accommodating to my 86 year old mom and me. I will never go anywhere else to get an eye test, or to get glasses. Thank you for making our day and for going above and beyond my wildest expectations."
    Zahra R.