Don’t do it, unless you have a valid prescription from an optometrist!

We get it, it’s fun to change your eye color, especially on Halloween, but things can take a dangerous turn when contact lenses are bought over the counter in drug stores.

Colored contact lenses are popular year-round for people who want to change the color of their iris. Every year at Halloween there is a surge of people using colored contact lenses to enhance their costumes but very few know the risks associated with these lenses. “Most people believe that decorative lenses do not require the same level of care or consideration as a standard contact lens because they can be purchased over-the-counter or on the Internet,” says Thomas Steinemann, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “This is far from the truth.”

You need an eye exam with an eye care professional first. Contact lenses are considered medical devices by the FDA. Even if you have perfect vision, you must have a valid prescription from a licensed eye care professional to purchase them. In fact, non-prescription contacts lens sales are illegal in the United States.  There is no such thing as a “One Size Fits All” contact lens-our eye doctors will take measurements to get a properly fitting contact lens.

What are the Risks of Wearing Non-Prescription Contact Lenses? 

Non-Prescription contacts may scratch your eye. Scratching the eye, also known as corneal abrasions, may occur because OTC contacts have not been properly fit and measured for your eye. Corneal abrasions may cause redness, blurry vision, irritation, pain, discharge, and light sensitivity.

Contacts increase the risk for corneal ulcers. Wearing and/or misusing contacts increases your risk for corneal ulcers. These are painful, open sores on the transparent outer layer of the eye. If left untreated, these ulcers can cause permanent scarring, loss of vision, or blindness.

You may be more likely to get eye infections. Open sores and scratches in the eye lead to increased risk of bacterial and viral infections.

You could permanently lose your vision. This, of course, is the worst case scenario but complications from corneal abrasions and infection can cause serious damage and permanent scarring.

Lastly, please make an appointment to get a proper contact lens fitting and prescription for legal and safe contact lenses. Having different colored eyes in fun but we don’t want your Halloween accessories to turn your life into a real nightmare! Schedule your appointment here!

Take Care, You Only Get 1 Pair! #WeKnowEyes