Opticians have warned that using novelty contact lenses for Halloween costumes could become a frightening nightmare.
Cheap contact lenses can often cause infections, scratches on the cornea, conjunctivitis and even impaired vision.
Feel Good Contacts is warning Halloween pranksters of the dangers of buying from non-optical establishments after a rise in social media adverts for novelty contacts.
READ MORE – The best sexy Halloween costume ideas
In fact, buying contact lenses without an optician’s prescription is illegal as they are classed as medical devices.
Sharon Copeland, contact lens optician at Feel Good Contacts, said: “Whilst we want Halloween to be a memorable evening, we want it to be unforgettable for the right reasons and are warning consumers of the dangers of buying costume lenses without a prescription.”
She added: “We recommend that before buying your contact lenses you visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up, regardless of whether you are buying cosmetic lenses with or without powers.
“It is advisable that you avoid buying them from salons, beauty supply stores, boutiques, flea markets, novelty stores, Halloween stores, convenience stores or untrustworthy internet retailers.
“These outlets may not abide by the same safety standards and regulations as a reputable contact lens retailer.”
Halloween contact lenses tips and safety guide
Here are seven top tips to help prevent those blood-shot eyes becoming a reality this Halloween…
1. Head for a check-up.
It’s important to always visit an eye care professional for a check-up even if you have good eyesight.
You’ll need to have a check to ensure contact lenses are suitable for your eyes, and then obtain a prescription for the correct fitting lens dimensions.
2. Buy from a professional
It’s important to always buy contact lenses from an eye care professional or vendor who requires a prescription.
Other retailers may not apply the same safety standards and regulations or adhere to strict quality checks.
Contact lenses are classed as medical devices so should only be bought with a prescription.
3. Lenses before make-up
It’s important to always put your contact lenses in before applying your Halloween make-up.
Additionally, make sure you take them out before removing your make-up.
4. Never share lenses
Sharing contact lenses increases the risk of infection and spreading eye diseases and corneal ulcers.
Once you wear contact lenses, you should not share them with anyone else.
5. Follow the instructions
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to always follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing contact lenses.
You should never use water to clean contacts and it’s important not to over-use them.
If the lens is a single use one, it should be thrown away after one day and not be worn for more than the recommended wearing time.
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6. Never sleep in contact lenses
At best, sleeping in contact lenses can be an irritation – at worst it can result in permanent damage to your eyes.
Sleeping in cosmetic lenses can misalign them and cause irritation so always take them out before going to bed.
7. Remove if irritated
If you have any sort of redness, itching, swelling or irritation from contact lenses you should remove them immediately.
Consult an optician or if it becomes serious, visit A&E to get your eyes treated as soon as possible.
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