Cosmetic contact lenses tend to grow in popularity during Halloween. While the trend can create a stunning visual effect it can also create lasting damage if unsafe practices are used.
Types of cosmetic contact lenses commonly used for Halloween:
These lenses have a solid pattern to cover the iris (the coloured part of the front of the eye), changing its apparent colour, whether they are dark or light.
Special effect/theatrical contact lenses
Special effect contact lenses are like opaque tints, whereby the iris is completely covered. However, instead of a solid pattern covering the iris, an abnormal design takes its place. Individuals might use these contacts to mimic cat eyes or yellow alien eyes.
Circle contact lenses (big eye lenses)
Similar to the opaque tints, these lenses cover the entire iris with a wide circular eye pattern in hopes of creating a wide doll-eye appearance.
Risks and safety tips:
Even though cosmetic contact lenses may only be used for a Halloween costume, your eyes could experience temporary or permanent damage if they are used incorrectly or bought without the guidance of an optometrist. Such damage includes:
• Eye irritation
• Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
• Corneal ulcers
To decrease the risks associated with cosmetic contact lenses follow the recommendations below:
Speak with an optometrist first
An optometrist is trained and qualified to choose the proper contact lens material, fitting design, and care regime that works best for your eyes.
Wear and care tips for contact lenses
The following recommendations are supplemental to the training and instructions you receive from your optometrist as part of a contact lens fitting program.
As part of the program, your optometrist will make several recommendations, this may include:
• Wearing your contacts only for the length of time recommended, even if they feel comfortable.
• Removing, cleaning and disinfecting your lenses at the intervals prescribed.
• Only using the cleaning and disinfecting system prescribed by your optometrist.
• Having regular eye examinations.
• Not sleeping or napping while wearing your contacts unless specifically indicated.
• Not using any eye medications or eye drops without consulting your optometrist.
For more information on cosmetic contact lenses, speak with your local optometrist.