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The Dangers of Decorative Contact Lenses

The Dangers of Decorative Contact Lenses

Consider these risks before adding this accessory to your Halloween costume.

With Halloween right around the corner, you may be considering decorative contact lenses for a fun accessory to your costume. But wearing this type of non-functional eyewear poses certain risks to your overall vision health. In observance of Halloween Eye Safety Month, here are the main dangers of using decorative contacts.

#1 – Decreased Vision
The goal of most decorative contacts is to alter the appearance of your eye color. To accomplish this, many manufacturers use opaque pigments to color the area around your pupil. Whenever your contacts shift or your pupils dilate, this colored tint can make it difficult to see, especially at night.

#2 – Corneal Abrasion
To create the effect of cat eyes, tiny pupils, and other spooky looks, Halloween contact lenses are normally embellished with small designs and artwork. These patterns often form an uneven texture on the lens, creating a rough surface that can scratch your eye and cause a corneal abrasion.

#3 – Allergic Reaction
Many of the pigments and designs mentioned above contain substances that can elicit an allergic reaction, leading to symptoms such as redness, itchiness, burning, swelling, and watery eyes. Other factors like improper usage and an ill-fitting lens can also cause your allergies to emerge.

# 4 – Infection
A study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2015 found traces of chlorine and iron in multiple brands of decorative contacts. These chemicals—likely related to the colorants used on the lenses—are extremely harmful to your eyes and can cause corneal ulcers, keratitis, and other infections.

#5 – Blindness
As with anything that carries the risk of an infection, decorative contacts can begin a chain of complications that may lead to blindness. If, for example, a lens is not custom fit to your eye, then you have a higher chance of experiencing significant, long-term damage to your vision.

The sale of decorative contact lenses without a prescription is illegal in the United States. If you’d like to purchase non-functional contacts, then you should receive a prescription from an experienced eye care professional who can verify your eligibility and recommend the best product. To schedule an appointment with us, call 541-262-0597 or schedule online.