Why you should AVOID coloured contact lenses this Halloween

Marnie Simpson shares a post of her CREEPY contact lenses

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Halloween is just days away and you might have already ordered some coloured contacts to add an extra scare factor to your costume, but you might want to reconsider using them. These lenses might seem harmless, but they could easily damage your eyes and cause vision loss. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Brian Boxer Wachler, an ophthalmologist and eyesight expert from All About Vision, to find out the dos and don’ts of coloured contact lenses.

Don’t put your health at risk for a night of fun! Coloured contact lenses can be extremely dangerous.

Dr Brian Boxer Wachler, an ophthalmologist and eyesight expert with All About Vision, warned: “The whole point of Halloween is mixing fun with fright, but there’s nothing thrilling about endangering your eyesight.

“If coloured contact lenses are purchased on the internet and not from an eye doctor, then there are increased risks of complications like infection, scarring, blurry vision or loss of vision.”

“Anything that you place on your eyeball has the potential to cause an injury or infection that could lead to vision loss.”

Decades of research and development have produced coloured and costume contact lenses that are safe when prescribed correctly, worn properly and maintained carefully.

However, not all Halloween contacts fit these guidelines and you should always triple check your lenses and consult a pro before you wear them.

According to Dr Boxer Wachler, the safety of these speciality lenses (also known as costume contacts) boils down to buying them from the right people and wearing them the right way.

If you insist on wearing contact lenses, don’t buy a cheap pair online.

Dr Boxer Wachler said: “It’s simply not worth the risk – have an eye doctor order them or at least assess them before you put them on your eyes.

“Whatever you do, don’t forget your eyesight is riding on you making the right decision about what you put in your eyes.”

All coloured contact lenses supplied within the UK, including non-prescription lenses, are now classed as medical devices, and should only be supplied or supervised by a registered optician, according to the Specsavers site.

You will need a contact lens appointment with contact lens specialists.

Here are the five steps to ensuring your contact lenses are safe this Halloween.

See an optician first

Make sure your eyes are suitable for contacts and have your optician prepare a prescription based on your eyes’ precise shape and size.

Buy from the right businesses

Eye care professionals may be able to sell Halloween contacts to you directly, or they can recommend a brand or website.

Listen to your optician

Always follow the directions regarding safety, comfort and lens maintenance.

Most of these lenses are for day use only and must not be slept in. Make sure you clear this up with your optician.

Never share

You don’t want any of your friends’ germs infecting your eyes, or vice versa, by sharing contact lenses.

Don’t ignore the signs

Redness, swelling or discomfort are your body’s way of telling you to remove the lenses immediately.

You could have or develop a dangerous infection, especially if you keep wearing them despite these signs.

Take the lenses out as soon as you notice any of the following signs:

  • Pain
  • Red eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty with removal — the lens getting “stuck” on the eye
  • Lens not staying on the eye

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