Keep Your Eyes Safe on Halloween
Don’t let an eye infection be the scariest part of your Halloween. Using decorative lenses without a valid prescription can cause serious harm to your eyes—haunting you long after October 31 1. You can safely buy contact lenses from eye doctors’ offices, online, or by mail order with a valid prescription, but don’t purchase decorative contact lenses from costume shops, online stores, beauty salons, drug stores, flea markets, or anywhere that doesn’t require a prescription 2. When decorative contact lenses are sold without a prescription, proper fitting, and education from an eye doctor, there may be a higher chance of contact lens related eye problems 1,3. Decorative lenses purchased without a prescription may not fit properly, leaving the eye more susceptible to scratches on the outer layer of the eye, or getting an ulcer (an open sore) on the cornea- the clear covering over the front of the eye. The result of a scratch or sore can be scarring, infection, and permanent vision reduction or loss 3.
Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by educating yourself and others about the dangers of using decorative contact lenses without a prescription.
Follow these tips when considering decorative contact lenses.
You can also learn more from these partner materials:
- FDA. Decorative Contact Lenses: Is Your Vision Worth It?
- FDA. 'Lucky 13' Tips for a Safe Halloween
- AAO. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription is Scary! [PDF - 1 page]
- AAO. Halloween Warning from Ophthalmologists
- AAO. Over-the-Counter Costume Contact Lenses Can Ruin Vision
- AAO. Video: No Prescription, No Way
- AOA. Beware of Inferior Quality Contact Lenses
- Sauer A, Bourcier T, French Study Group for Contact Lenses Related Microbial Keratitis. Microbial keratitis as a foreseeable complication of cosmetic contact lenses: a prospective study. Acta Ophthalmol. 2011;89(5):e439-42.
- FDA. Decorative contact lenses. 2014.
- FDA. 'Colored' and decorative contact lenses: a prescription is a must. 2016.
- Page last reviewed: October 20, 2016
- Page last updated: October 20, 2016
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