Every year at Halloween there is a rush of people looking to add a spooky finishing touch to their costume by wearing cosmetic contact lenses. However, few know of the serious effects they can have on your eyes – haunting you long after October 31.
People often believe that cosmetic contact lenses don’t require the same level of care as standard contact lenses because they can purchase them over-the-counter at their local convenience store or retail outlet without a prescription.
“This is dangerously far from the truth,” says Dr. Joshua C. Smith, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). “Cosmetic contact lenses are medical devices and when they are not tailored by an optometrist to fit the contour of your eyes correctly they can increase the risk of serious eye health issues, even if only worn once for a Halloween costume.”
It’s important to have an eye examination before wearing any kind of contact lenses, to ensure you are a good candidate. Irreversible damage can be caused if used incorrectly or purchased without the guidance of an optometrist. Some health risks include; eye irritation, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal ulcers, vision loss and even blindness.
“Contact lenses are not a “one-size-fits-all” since each eye is shape uniquely, says Dr. Smith. “That why it’s important to recognize the health risks involved when choosing to wear contact lenses without a prescription.”
To decrease the risks associated with wearing cosmetic contact lenses, speak with an optometrist first. They are trained and qualified to select the appropriate contact lens material, fit and care regime that works best for your eyes.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF OPTOMETRISTS
The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is the leading professional organization, representing over 1,700 optometrists. We are dedicated to helping our members provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care for Ontarians while driving the profession of optometry forward. For more information: optom.on.ca.
Ontario Association of Optometrists
905-826-3522 ext. 246