The Hidden Risks of Decorative Contacts

Recognizing Halloween, October 31

Halloween brings out the dramatic side of many Americans, a chance to get away from the mundane and be someone – or something – else.

Many people spend hours searching for just the right costume and accessories. And for some, the transformation requires spectacular makeup, including cosmetic contacts to change the appearance of their eyes.

Decorative contacts are non-corrective lenses that are readily accessible during the Halloween season at flea markets, costume stores, convenience stores or on the Internet. But users may not be aware of the hidden risks of wearing these lenses.

According to the American Optometric Association, if decorative lenses are not properly fitted by an eye care professional, users may experience health complications, even if the lenses are worn for a short time. Potential health concerns include, conjunctivitis (or pinkeye), swelling, infections, allergic reactions or corneal abrasions, damage to the eye, irreversible loss of sigh, as well as reduced visual acuity (clearness of vision), contrast sensitivity or peripheral vision.

Don’t Risk Your Eyesight

If a dramatic eye appearance is necessary to complete your Halloween costume, follow these guidelines:

  • See an optometrist to have decorative lenses fitted to your eye
  • Wash your hands before handling the lenses
  • Clean the lenses as directed by your optometrist
  • Store lenses in a proper lens case
  • Use recommended products to clean and disinfect your lenses
  • Follow the usage guidelines provided by your optometrist

If you plan to be “in costume” this Halloween, who or what will you be? If you have used decorative contact lenses, what was your experience? I’ll share your comments in a future blog. Scott Delisi, Ameritas Group