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Consult an Eye Care Professional if Your Halloween Costume Includes Scary Eyes

Decorative contact lenses have become increasingly popular Halloween costumes in recent years. While they made add a thrill to your costume, wearing costume contact lenses without a prescription can lead to serious eye infections or permanent vision loss.

Like regular contact lenses, decorative lenses must be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional. 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.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 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, making the eye more vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, scarring from an infection is so bad that a corneal transplant is required to restore vision. The most extreme cases can end in blindness.

The AAO offers the following tips to help ensure your Halloween costume won’t haunt you long after Halloween:

  • See an eye care professional to get a prescription for costume contact lenses.
  • Properly care for contact lenses. Even if you have a prescription for contact lenses, proper care remains essential.
  • Never share contacts. Sharing contacts spreads germs and can cause pink eye.

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!

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 35 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget. For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, please call the Linwood office at 609.927.3373 or 609.465.7926 for the Cape May Court House office. Visit online at