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October: Not Just Halloween, but also Halloween Safety Month

As Halloween approaches, most of us are eagerly searching for the perfect costume - or helping our kids find the perfect one. While most of Halloween is all about fun and games, there’s a part of the costume aspect that can actually be incredibly scary: costume contact lenses. Maybe you’re planning to be a cat and have heard about cat-eye contact lenses, or perhaps your teenager’s costume would be far more realistic if they used blackout contact lenses along with it. Especially if you or child already wear contact lenses, you might assume it’s no big deal to buy a pair of costume lenses online and give them a go for the evening.

But if you’re wondering, “are colored contacts safe?” You might be in for a ghoulish surprise: they’re not, unless they’re prescribed and checked for proper fit by an eye doctor. Here are some more Halloween safety tips when it comes to being able to enjoy costume contact lenses and not worry about damaging your eyes. 

Contact Lenses are Medical Devices

Despite colorful and inviting packaging, and ads that make colored contact lenses seem like just another fun part of a Halloween costume, contact lenses are always medical devices - and should be treated as such. Whether you wear prescription contacts in daily life or not, you should never order contacts from anyone except your eye doctor. There are far too many cases of permanent eye damage in children and adults who have used non-prescription, decorative lenses that have not been approved by an eye doctor.

Proper Prescription and Fit Matter

Two of the main reasons you should see your eye doctor first if you’re interested in wearing costume lenses is because they need to make sure you get the right prescription for your eyes (even if you believe you have 20/20 vision) and they need to check the fit. If contact lenses fit improperly, they can scratch, cut or infect your eyes and cause painful, damaging issues like corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers and potentially blinding painful bacterial infections like keratitis. Although rare, people have actually been blinded due to wearing costume contact lenses that weren’t prescribed or checked by a doctor.

However, don’t despair. If you’re interested in wearing colored or decorative contacts with your Halloween costume (or your child’s) this year, you almost certainly can! But first, you must schedule an exam with your eye doctor and make sure they are the ones who are measuring your prescription, checking your fit and ultimately giving approval for you to wear them. Even if you’ll just be wearing the lenses for an evening, your eyesight and eye health are worth the time it takes to schedule an appointment with your doctor and go about wearing decorative lenses the right way.

If you’d like to schedule an eye exam and talk to one of our doctors about decorative lenses, please contact us any time. Have a happy and safe Halloween!