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Halloween Cosmetic Contact Lenses May Put Wearers At Risk

Novelty Contact Lenses Can Cause Permanent Eyesight Damage


Novelty contact lenses will be used by a number of people celebrating Halloween this year, but experts have warned that wearers risk damaging their eyesight by using the products.

According to eye experts, the lenses, which are available online and in fancy dress shops, have been known to cause infections, tearing of the cornea, eye ulcers and in some cases permanent damage to the eyes.

Other risks associated with the use of these lenses include conjunctivitis, corneal swelling, allergic reactions and reduced vision. Often damage is caused by poor lens hygiene due to the lack of instructions provided to wearers by manufacturers and insufficient information provided by companies selling the lenses directly to the public.

Medical, or powered, contact lenses should only be worn after a prescription has been issued by a medical professional but cosmetic contact lenses do not require a prescription. Experts have warned people not to use novelty lenses over the Halloween period without first having consulted with a qualified professional. 

Simon Greir, spokesman for the General Optical Council, told the Daily Mail that the novelty lenses, which are described as ‘eye accessories’ should be prescribed by a registered professional. 

He added: “Supervision requires the registered person to be present on the premises, aware of the procedure and in a position to intervene if necessary and the supplier must also make arrangements for the wearer to receive ongoing care.

“Any sales of cosmetic contact lenses that do not meet these requirements are illegal under the Opticians Act.”

Expert Opinion
It is very troubling to see that these cosmetic lenses, which have the potential to cause serious damage to a wearer’s eyesight, are so readily available and can be purchased without the proper advice and fitting from a registered professional.

“It is also concerning that those buying these products are not warned of the potential risks and that often they are not supplied with the appropriate information for correct usage. These products are also not subject to the same regulations and stringent tests as prescription lenses and can be purchased and worn by children.

“We welcome the advice from eye experts and hope that those considering wearing cosmetic lenses over the Halloween period seriously consider the risks they are exposing themselves to by wearing ill-fitting and poorly manufactured lenses.”
Kevin Timms, Solicitor

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