Halloween is just around the corner and many people are excited to dress up in their favorite costumes. From spooky outfits to celebrity impersonations, there are endless possibilities for creative Halloween looks. While wigs and makeup can help transform your appearance, one thing that remains unchanged is your eye color.
To enhance their costumes, some people turn to contact lenses. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved. Novelty contact lenses are easily available online, but purchasing them without proper precautions can have serious consequences for your eye health.
In the UK, it is not illegal to sell cosmetic lenses online as long as the seller meets legal requirements. However, the British Contact Lens Association strongly advises against buying and wearing contact lenses without a prescription from a registered contact lens practitioner. Purchasing lenses from unregulated overseas websites increases the risk of eye infections, corneal abrasions, and even corneal ulcers.
Tina Patel, an optician from Feel Good Contacts, emphasizes that contact lenses are considered medical devices and should only be purchased with a prescription. Even if you don’t need vision correction, it is still necessary to consult an optician to ensure that the lenses are suitable for your eyes.
Patel warns against buying contact lenses from salons, beauty supply stores, boutiques, flea markets, novelty stores, Halloween stores, convenience stores, or untrustworthy internet retailers. These outlets may not adhere to the same safety standards and regulations as reputable contact lens retailers. She further explains the dangers of wearing non-prescribed contacts, which include corneal infections, corneal scratches, conjunctivitis, and reduced vision.
If you do decide to wear contact lenses this Halloween, here are some safety tips to follow:
1. Schedule a check-up with your eye practitioner before purchasing lenses.
2. Obtain a prescription with the correct lens dimensions for a proper fit.
3. Purchase lenses from reputable eye care professionals or vendors that require a prescription.
4. Avoid buying lenses from untrustworthy retailers that may not meet safety standards.
5. Put in your lenses before applying Halloween makeup and remove them before removing your makeup.
6. Do not share your lenses with anyone to prevent eye conditions and infections.
7. Follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses.
8. Do not overuse the lenses and adhere to the recommended wearing time.
9. Never sleep with the lenses in, as it can cause misalignment and potential eye damage.
10. If you experience any discomfort, redness, pain, itching, swelling, or irritation, remove the lenses immediately and seek medical attention from an optician or visit an eye department in a hospital.
Remember, safety should always be a priority when it comes to your eyes. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a safe and fun Halloween while rocking your costume with confidence.