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

Contact Us

Office Hours

Monday:

7:45 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

7:45 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

8:45 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:45 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

(closed 2 Saturdays a month, call to verify)

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "I wouldn't go anywhere else and highly recommend Dr. Orabone and the Seifert & Associates staff to take the best care of you."
    Mary V.
  • "Dr. Siefert is the best. He's meticulous and patient, very thorough too! I highly recommend him for eye classes too."
    Lori P.
  • "I can't rave enough about my experience! Dr. Orabone was so kind and helpful. I went in late on a Friday with a terrible eye infection. She immediately diagnosed me and helped me find a treatment. She even called me the following day to check up on me and to make me an appointment with an ophthalmologist. She went way above and beyond to make sure I was being taken care of. Excellent service! I highly recommend!"
    Ash M.
  • "What a wonderful experience! The staff is kind, courteous and helpful; the selection is slammin' and Dr. Seifert is clearly a man dedicated to using cutting edge technology in order to provide the very best eye care. Five stars and I can count them now sans squinting!!!"
    Denise L.
  • "The best eye dr I have ever been too. Very thorough and easy to understand. Would recommend to anyone with vision troubles"
    Tawnee R.
  • "Great place. Very nice. I'm from NJ & broke my only pair of glasses. I called the girl said to come in. When I did I was shocked. They fixed it & did not charge. Great staff ..Highly recommend & great frames to choose from. Thank You!!"
    Susan T.
  • "Excellent group of people. From the doctors to the front desk staff. Everyone is willing to help and do it with a smile. Dr. Seifert is always keeping up with the latest in technology which translates to an exceptional standard of care. I would recommend Seifert Eye Associates to all my friends and family."
    Brandon M.
  • "Great practice with state-of-the-art equipment. Dr. Orabone is wonderful and all the staff are so friendly and helpful. Also a great selection of eye ware. I highly recommend!"
    MaryAnne M.
  • "I'm very happy with Dr. Seifert and his staff. I think the equipment they use is newest and best. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing eye care."
    Kelli L.
  • "I normally get my eyes checked in Manhattan and decided to try Dr. Seifert. I do not think I ever had a better exam. It was thorough, it was carefully explained verbally and visually. I recommended that my wife give Dr. Seifert a try. The staff was excellent as well."
    Bill H.
  • "LOVE Seifert Eye Associates. They have the best client services and always go above and beyond for their patients. If you live on the East End this is the only doctor you should be going to! They are also great with kids."
    Jennifer K.
  • "The most comprehensive eye exam i have ever received!
    This doctor knows what's he's doing and so does his staff.
    Office is patient friendly and the optical side has a great selection of designer and affordable frames."
    Barbara M.
  • "Great office, clean, friendly, state of the art equipment! Even as Dr Seifert game me the news of having to get "progressive lenses", was done in a tactful way!!! :-) Would definitly recommend the office for eye exams."
    Marlene S.
  • "I've been coming to Dr Seifert for years and have always had a great experience! The staff here are always really friendly and accommodating. I'd highly recommend Dr Seifert."
    M. W.
  • "I have used Dr. Seifert for many years. He is diligent and innovative. He always looks for the best the patient can get and explains all options in a very understandable manner. He is an excellent doctor, besides a very nice and kind person. I highly recommend Dr. Seifert !"
    Maik J.
  • "I had a great experience. Very professional staff and the doctor was very helpful. Great frame selection too!"
    Rodrigo M.