Halloween Horrors Can Turn Into a Reality with the Wrong Contact Lenses
To avoid a real-life Halloween horror story – going blind because of a costume accessory – the American Academy of Ophthalmology is warning the public against wearing costume or decorative contact lenses purchased without a prescription. These illegally sold cosmetic lenses may not be sterile and can cause a host of serious eye problems. These problems, infections, sores, and even blindness, are capable of morphing a fun Halloween night into a nightmare. Even if your friends have worn them and came out seeing the other side, it’s not worth it to risk your own eye health for one night of dressing up.
We know that dressing up like a witch, princess, monster, or other fun character doesn’t feel complete until everything is different, including bright, unnatural looking eye colors. Red eyes can signify the evil inside the character, or maybe bright green will make your makeup and costume pop. Whatever the reasoning or color behind it, make sure you are doing the proper research into decorative contact lenses, and buying them from a legal retailer.
Want decorative contact lenses for everyday use or for this Halloween? Ask an eye care professional. Glenn K. Davis, II, MD, is available in Pulaski, VA, and Galax, VA, to provide you with eye-safe decorative contacts to protect your eye health. Call us today to see what we can find for you.
Decorative Contact Lenses Can Lead to Serious Eye Problems
Your eyes are vital and delicate organs and we need to treat them as such. Any contact lenses that go into your eyes should be medically safe and FDA-approved. It’s important to remember that while decorative contacts can be fun, they are not fashion accessories or cosmetics. They are medical devices that require a prescription from an eye care professional, even if you do not normally wear prescription contacts or glasses. Proper cleaning, application, fitting, and removal is necessary to keep your eyes safe while wearing contacts.
Non-prescription decorative contacts can cause cuts, sores, and infections in your eyes. Keratitis is a very common infection brought on by improper wear of contact lenses. In addition to suffering severe pain, you may need surgery, such as a corneal transplant. The cornea is the clear front layer of the eye. In a corneal transplant, the surgeon removes the tissue and replaces it with healthy tissue. While contact wearers can avoid this by using eye-safe contacts only, it’s best to consult with your eye doctor before making that purchase.
In some cases, you could go blind. Eye suffocation, infection, scratches, scarring, and other painful problems can occur, leading to blindness or painful issues later on.
Symptoms of Eye Infections
If you begin to feel pain while wearing the contact lenses, be sure to remove them and seek medical attention as soon as possible. There could be damage to the eye that you cannot see, like cuts or tears.
The AAO provides some tell-tale signs and symptoms of contact lens–related infections including:
- Blurred vision
- Unusual redness of the eye
- Pain in the eyes
- Tearing or discharge from the eye
- Light sensitivity
- Constantly feeling like there is something in the eye
Some contact lens-related infections or irritations can cause blindness and other painful, lasting eye issues. If you notice any of these symptoms after wearing contact lenses, decorative or regular, be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
What to Do if Contact Lenses Harm Your Eyes
If the contact lens has clearly cut your eye, sticks to it, or you notice pain or irritation after wearing the contacts, call your eye doctor immediately. If the problem is bad enough or impairs your vision, you may need to seek emergency help.
Do not put the contacts back into your eyes. Even if you have prescription contacts, there could be bacteria on them that will irritate the eyes further.
After seeing your eye doctor, be sure to follow with their steps. This can include eye drops, antibiotics, or not wearing contacts for a while until the eyes heal. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the eye damage.
You Can Still Wear the Costume Without Harmful Eye Gear
Keep in mind that while the costume may seem like it needs those red eyes, you can still enjoy Halloween by being eye safe. Find fun glasses or use eye-safe makeup to amplify the costume. Think of other fun and creative costume ideas that may not require any harmful items around your eyes. Remember that the staff at Glenn K. Davis, II, MD, in Pulaski and Galax are here with advice on how to practice eye safety on Halloween and every day of the year.
We wish you a happy and safe Halloween. We ask that parents and children keep in mind the many scares of decorative contacts to better practice eye safety this fall season.