Decorative and colored contact lenses are extremely popular during Halloween as they enhance the costume. But, be aware that these lenses carry a significant health risk. U.S. Food and Drug Administration is discouraging consumers from using decorative contact lenses.
FDA joins eye care professionals – including
the American Academy of Ophthalmology,
the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus,
the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists and
the American Optometric Association
These experts warn that buying any kind of contact lenses without an examination and a prescription from an eye care professional can cause serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss. Despite the fact that it’s illegal to sell decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription, FDA says the lenses are sold on the Internet and in retail shops and salons-particularly around Halloween.
The decorative lenses make the wearer’s eyes appear to glow in the dark, create the illusion of vertical “cat eyes,” or change the wearer’s eye color.
“Although unauthorized use of decorative contact lenses is a concern year-round, Halloween is the time when people may be inclined to use them, perhaps as costume accessories,” says FDA eye expert Bernard Lepri, O.D., M.S., M.Ed.. “What troubles us is when they are bought and used without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care. This can lead to significant risks of eye injuries, including blindness.”
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, USA