Halloween is just around the corner, and many people are getting ready to dress up in their spookiest or most glamorous costumes. While wigs and makeup can help transform your appearance, one thing that can’t be changed is your eye color. That’s why some people turn to contact lenses to complete their Halloween look. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved.
Novelty contact lenses are easily available for purchase online, but buying them without proper precautions can be risky. In the UK, it is not illegal to sell cosmetic lenses online as long as the seller follows legal requirements. However, the British Contact Lens Association advises that contact lenses should only be purchased and worn after a registered contact lens practitioner has assessed your eyes and issued a prescription. Buying lenses from unregulated overseas websites increases the risk of eye infections, corneal abrasions, and even corneal ulcers.
According to optician Tina Patel from Feel Good Contacts, contact lenses are considered “medical devices” and should only be purchased with a prescription from an optician. Even if you don’t need vision correction, it’s still important to visit an optician to ensure that contact lenses are suitable for your eyes. Patel recommends avoiding buying lenses from salons, beauty supply stores, boutiques, flea markets, novelty stores, Halloween stores, convenience stores, or untrustworthy online retailers. These outlets may not adhere to the same safety standards and regulations as reputable contact lens retailers.
Wearing non-prescribed contact lenses can put your eyes at risk of various eye-related conditions such as corneal infections, scratches on the cornea, conjunctivitis, and reduced vision. However, if you decide to wear contact lenses this Halloween, there are some safety tips to follow.
Firstly, it is recommended to have a check-up with your eye practitioner before purchasing lenses. Even if your eyesight is good, an optician can determine whether contact lenses are suitable for your eyes and provide you with the necessary prescription. It’s also important to buy lenses from reputable eye care professionals or vendors that require a prescription. These retailers follow safety standards and regulations and only stock lenses from manufacturers that prioritize quality.
When wearing Halloween contact lenses, it’s crucial to put them in before applying your makeup and remove them before taking off your makeup. Sharing lenses with others should be avoided as it increases the risk of eye conditions and infections. Additionally, always follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses. If the lenses are single-use, make sure to wear them for only one day and not exceed the recommended wearing time.
If you’re unsure about any aspect of wearing contact lenses, it’s best to refer to the manufacturers’ instructions. It’s also important not to sleep with the lenses in, as this can cause misalignment, eye irritation, and potentially permanent damage to your eyes. If you experience any redness, discomfort, pain, itching, swelling, or irritation while wearing contact lenses, remove them immediately and seek medical attention from an optician or visit an eye department in a hospital as soon as possible.
This Halloween, remember to prioritize the health and safety of your eyes while enjoying the festivities.