Many people do not realize contact lenses are considered a medical device regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This type of corrective eyewear must be prescribed by a doctor, even if they are decorative lenses to elevate your Halloween costume. Whether you're wearing colored contact lenses daily to alter your eye color or looking for one-time contact lenses for your spooky ensemble, it's illegal for a shop or online company to sell you costume contacts without a prescription. Our eye doctors at Invision Eye Care hope you enjoy the Halloween season safely and avoid the many dangers of decorative contact lenses by visiting our office for a prescription.
Decorative contact lenses can change the look of your eyes, transforming brown eyes into blue or creating a cat-eye or bloodshot appearance to look like a monster or zombie. These are a great way to increase your costume's "wow" factor, but buying from the wrong source without a prescription puts you at risk for eye infections, corneal abrasions, and even blindness.
Risks of Halloween Contact Lenses
Decorative contact lenses go by many names, including colored contact lenses, fashion lenses, theatre contact lenses, and Halloween contact lenses. Regardless of how they are marketed, these lenses carry life-altering risks if bought from a Halloween store, beauty supply, flea market, street vendor, or other business that does not require prescriptions or sell FDA-cleared contact lenses.
According to the FDA, about 60% of costume contacts purchased online without a prescription contain harmful bacteria, which may cause a severe bacterial infection called keratitis that can lead to blindness. These illegal contact lenses may cause allergic reactions with eye redness, watering, and itching, and may also cause blurry or decreased vision.
Costume contact lenses from stores or salons do not fit your unique eye shape and may damage your cornea (surface layer of your eye) with cuts or scratches from the lens material. These counterfeit lenses may not be sterile and are often made with poor materials that don't allow enough oxygen to permeate the lens due to the pigments used.
In severe cases, patients may need a corneal transplant or other eye surgery to correct eye injury or infections caused by Halloween contact lenses. Don't trust any decorative contact lens brand or company that advertises "one size fits all" or "no need for an eye doctor." If you want to change your eye color or appearance for Halloween, schedule an eye exam and get a prescription to save your eye health.
How to Order Halloween Contact Lenses
If you want to step up your costume this year, you can get a prescription for decorative contact lenses with your unique eye measurements at Invision Eye Care Specialists. If you choose to order your costume lenses online, make sure you're buying from an FDA-approved company that requires your prescription. Anyone selling these lenses must request a prescription and verify the details with the prescribing doctor or face a fine of up to $16,000. If the website doesn't ask for a prescription, don't purchase lenses from them.
Your eye health is not worth the risk of store-bought costume contact lenses. Schedule an eye exam at Invision Eye Care Specialists in Lakewood, New Jersey, to discuss your options for Halloween lenses. Call our office at (732) 210-0140.