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AAO 2016: Dr. Uretsky's Thoughts

AAO 2016 | October 16, 2016


Halloween Costume Lenses

One of the hottest accessories for Halloween costumes in recent years are decorative contact lenses. When choosing accessories for your Halloween costume, protect your vision and avoid an unwanted scare by wearing only ophthalmologist-approved contact lenses from trusted manufacturers.

Over-the-counter decorative contact lenses have become popular in novelty shops and are easily purchased online, but consumers have no way of knowing whether the products are safe to wear.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology strongly warns against using any over-the-counter non-prescription contact lenses. These lenses may be made with harmful materials that can cause painful corneal ulcers or keratitis, leading to impaired vision or blindness. In addition, lenses with designs printed on them have rough surfaces which can scratch the eye, allowing bacteria to cause infection and potentially blindness. A recent study tested five varieties of decorative lenses and found three contained chlorine, and four types of lenses contained iron.

Consumers can obtain FDA-approved decorative contact lenses from reputable manufacturers with a prescription. Your ophthalmologist can provide a copy of your contact lens prescription, giving you the option of buying lenses from an eye care professional or legitimate online retailer. Always buy your contact lenses from a seller that requires a valid prescription.

Ask your ophthalmologist about the risks before you purchase costume lenses, and have your eyes examined right away if you have used over-the-counter lenses. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

October 2016