colored contact lens riskNow that Halloween is upon us, more people are looking to enhance their costumes with colored contact lenses.  These types of contact lenses make it possible for people to achieve a variety of spooky or ethereal looks, like bright red eyes, cat eyes, or even white eyes.  The fun doesn’t even have to stop after Halloween, as more people are using natural-colored contact lenses to switch up their normal eye colors.

But are colored contact lenses safe?  What are some of the risks associated with using these types of contacts?

Colored contact lenses are often sold by vendors who insist that you don’t need the advice or oversight of an ophthalmologist.  However, that’s often the first mistake that people make, as contacts cannot be “one-size-fits-all.”  Additionally, many people treat colored contact lenses as fashion accessories, rather than a medical device that could have a significant impact on ocular health.

And did we mention that non-prescription colored contact lenses sales are illegal?

When used improperly or without the oversight of a licensed eyecare provider, colored contact lenses can come with risks of infection – many of which are so serious that they can cause permanent loss of vision.  Several ophthalmologists have even had to perform corneal transplants for patients who incurred serious eye infections from colored contact lenses.

Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths of NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia – also serving the greater Washington, DC area  – has the following suggestions for those who want to protect their ocular eye health while wearing these contacts:

  • Make sure you get your colored contact lens from a licensed eyecare provider, and not from a costume shop or online vendor. As previously mentioned, this is illegal, which means there won’t be any oversight to ensure the product’s quality and safety of use.  Your eyecare provider can also ensure that the contacts properly fit your eyes, which is key for reducing irritation and infections.
  • Treat your colored contacts as you would any other type of contacts. That means frequent cleaning with a saline solution that rids the lens of bacteria.  Make sure you don’t fall asleep with the lens in or wear them for any longer than what’s recommended by your eyecare provider.

Don’t let illegal colored contacts ruin your Halloween night.  Schedule a visit with NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA to find the best colored contacts for your costume. Just fill out the form in the top left corner or call 703-834-9777.