If your Halloween plans include scary eyes, beware of costume contact lenses labeled “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye doctor.” Costume lenses must be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional, just like regular contact lenses. Otherwise, you may be haunted by an eye infection long after the fun of Halloween is over. Costume contact lenses may seem like the perfect way to complete your spooky look, but the consequences of using them can be much scarier than the costume effect!

Contact lenses that are not fitted for your eye can scratch the cornea, making the eye more vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria. Sometimes the scarring from an infection is so bad, a corneal transplant is required to restore vision. In the most extreme cases, an infection can lead to blindness. Keep these ophthalmologist-approved tips in mind to avoid the horrors of an eye infection this Halloween:

  • Buy only FDA-approved products.
  • Never share contacts or cosmetics.
  • Practice good hygiene. Ask your eye care professional for tips on how to care for your lenses.
  • Limit wear of colored contact lenses to four or five hours. And never sleep in contact lenses!
  • Don’t take risks with eyelash extensions. Go to an experienced aesthetician and make sure proper hygiene is practiced.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you notice any swelling, redness, pain or discharge from the eye.

For more information about eye health, visit the Academy’s EyeSmart website.