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Costume Contact Lenses can Cause Scary Eye Problems

October 30th, 2018


While decorative contact lenses may seem like the perfect accessory for your Halloween costume, the American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that they could irritate your eyes and potentially cause permanent damage.

Contact lenses are considered a medical device and regulated by the FDA. Good Samaritan Ophthalmologist, Alanna Nattis, DO, FAAO, recommends a formal eye exam before being fitted for any contact lenses.

“The cosmetic lenses and “costume” contact lenses that are sold online and in retail stores that don’t ask for an eye care provider’s prescription are often unregulated,” said Dr. Nattis. “Some of these lenses may actually have pigment on the lens that can rub off on the eye and become embedded in the ocular surface.”

Injuries from ill-fitting lenses can include scratches on the cornea, corneal hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the clear front layer of the eye), superficial and deep infections of the eye, scarring and even blindness.

“Just like many things, contact lenses don’t follow a one-size fits-all rule,” said Dr. Nattis. “Without an exam to ensure the proper fit, the lenses could be extremely uncomfortable and dangerous.”

So, while cosmetic contact lenses and costume lenses may be fun to wear, anyone who would like to wear them should get a proper exam and fitting by an ophthalmologist or optometrist before use.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Good Sam physician, please call 631-376-3000.