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Novelty Contact Lenses: More Dangerous Than You May Think

During October it’s not hard to find novelty contacts for sale online or in Halloween supply shops. These lenses are usually available without a prescription, and the injuries they can inflict may be scarier than the holiday itself!

Often branded as Halloween contact lenses, fashion contact lenses, theater lenses, or cosmetic contact lenses, these lenses can cause serious eye injury in extreme cases.

Are these Lenses really that dangerous?

Not if you purchase them with a valid prescription from a licensed vendor. If you really want novelty contacts there is a safe way to buy them, but you must first make an appointment with your eye doctor. Your doctor will make sure your eyes are strong enough for contact wear, and prescribe the right fit for your eye size. After your examination you can buy lenses either through your doctor or from a licensed vendor of FDA approved lenses.

Lenses available without a prescription are unsafe for several reasons:

Any lenses that you buy without a prescription will not be fitted properly to your eyes. Everyone has a unique eye shape and size combination. Lenses with incorrect sizing can slide off your pupil, be more prone to tearing, and can severely irritate and even scar your eyes.

Nonprescription lenses may not be sterile or safe for wear. If the lenses you want to buy are available without a prescription they have not been evaluated by the FDA. Lenses that haven’t been properly cleared and tested by the FDA can contain contaminants or ingredients that should be nowhere near your delicate eyes. Novelty lenses without prescriptions are often imported from foreign countries where safety standards may be minimal or unenforced.

Potential injuries from novelty contact wear:

Eye Infection and irritation

Corneal abrasion or scarring

Temporary or permanent loss of vision

Blindness in the most extreme cases

Help keep yourself safe from eye injury

Before you buy novelty contact lenses always visit your eye doctor first and get a valid prescription. Never purchase contact lenses that do not require a prescription, this is a red flag: these lenses have not be evaluated by the FDA, and can injure your eyes because of a bad fit or unsterile ingredients.  Never under any circumstances let your children wear novelty lenses without first checking with their eye doctor. If you follow these simple tips you will be well on your way to a safe and fun Halloween.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston