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Halloween Warning: Special Effect Contact Lenses May Damage Your Eyes

Close-up of a woman's eye with special effect contact in to make her eye look like a cat’s eye. Image courtesy of Federal Drug Administration
Close-up of a woman’s eye with special effect contact in to make her eye look like a cat’s eye. Image courtesy of Federal Drug Administration

Wearing nonprescription special effect contact lenses that make your eyes look spooky this Halloween may actually damage your eyes…and that is really spooky. Unfortunately, many people don’t truly understand the risk of over-the-counter special effect contact lenses, and they illegally purchase these lenses on the Internet.

If you want those spooky eyes this Halloween,

do it the right way.

A comprehensive eye examination ensures that contact lenses are correct for the patient, that the lenses are properly fitted, and that the patient knows how to care for their contact lenses. “There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ contact lens,” Dr. Randall Fuerst, chairman of the American Optometric Association’s contact lens and cornea section, said in an association news release. “Consumers who purchase lenses illegally, without a prescription or without consultation from an eye doctor, put themselves at risk for serious bacterial infections, allergic reactions, or even significant damage to the eye’s ability to function, with the potential for irreversible sight loss.”

Risks of wearing special effect contacts include:

  • A cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (Corneal Abrasion)
  • Allergic reactions like itchy, watery, red eyes
  • Decreased vision
  • Infection
  • Blindness
Pseudomonas eye infection. Image courtesy of Federal Drug Administration
Pseudomonas eye infection. Image courtesy of Federal Drug Administration

When wearing any type of contact lenses, be aware of signs of possible eye infection, which include:

  • Redness
  • Pain in the eye(s) that doesn’t go away after a short period of time
  • Decreased vision

If you have any of these signs, see your eye doctor right away.  If you are a patient of Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region, please call us at 518-274-3123. An eye infection could become serious and cause you to become blind if it is not treated.

 “Heed the warning…see an eye doctor or learn what fate beholds you.”

Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween!