Users warned against wearing novelty contact lenses during Halloween
Washington – The spooky or quirky contact lenses which are worn during Halloween could cause serious health issues if improperly sized or cleaned, according to an Indian origin ophthalmologist.
Cosmetic, or decorative, contact lenses are commonly used throughout the year to change someone’s natural eye color, but the popularity of these lenses soar at Halloween.
When cosmetic contact lenses are not properly fitted by an eye care professional, the wearer may be at risk for infection, corneal scarring, or even blindness.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies have also warned against novelty contact lenses for Halloween.
Novelty lenses are inexpensive and especially popular around Halloween, and some costume stores and boutiques stock them in a range of crazy colours and styles.
“Many people think that single-use contact lenses are safe because they will only wear them for one day, such as Halloween,” Dr. Rahul Pandit, ophthalmologist at Houston Methodist Hospital, said.
“However, one day provides enough time for an ill-fitting contact lens to scratch the eye or cause an infection,” he said.
Regular contact lenses require an exam with an eye care professional and a prescription.
Cosmetic contact lenses also require a prescription, but many consumers often illegally purchase these lenses without a prescription from beauty salons, costume stores, or online.
Some infections caused by cosmetic lenses can lead to corneal ulcers.
While not commonly diagnosed, these ulcers pose the highest risk and can lead to blindness or eye loss.
Corneal ulcers are painful and typically treated with antibiotics that are formulated specifically for a patient at a compounding pharmacy.
Pandit recommends that all contact lens wearers see an eye care professional for a proper fitting and call their physician if they experience any of the RSVP symptoms – Redness, Sensitivity to light, Vision worsening, and Pain.