Taking your Halloween costume up a notch, novelty contact lenses can give you scary devil eyes, Halloween cats eyes or the night of the living dead Zombie look. Done right, Halloween contact lenses can be a lot of fun.
However, get them from the wrong place and they will most likely come back and haunt you.
Novelty contact lenses can be bought online, in fancy dress shops and even on market stalls. You can get them without any eye examination, fitting or care instructions, with retailers classing them as ‘eye accessories’ in an irresponsible attempt to bypass the laws governing the sale of contact lenses.
By law, contact lenses, whether novelty or otherwise, can only be supplied by, or under the supervision of, a registered optometrist, dispensing optician or medical practitioner.
Obviously there is a reason for this - used incorrectly contact lenses can cause severe, sometimes irreversible damage to your eyesight.
The British Contact Lens Association highlights many, although not all, of the dangers associated with off the shelf, unregulated lens use.
Using contact lenses that are unsuitable for the eyes, or using them incorrectly, can cause serious eye problems including corneal ulcers and infections. Corneal ulcers can progress rapidly if left untreated.
Uncontrolled infection can lead to corneal scarring and vision impairment. In extreme cases, blindness and eye loss may result.
Other risks associated with the use of these lenses include conjunctivitis, corneal swelling, allergic reactions, corneal abrasion and reduced vision.
The risks may be increased if a consumer uses someone else’s lenses. This can spread infection between users, and is dangerous.
And this damage can be incurred from the minute you put the lens in your eye, not just from use over several hours. Simply inserting or removing the lenses incorrectly can lead to corneal damage, bacteria can rapidly breed behind the lenses which can lead to ulcers, and in severe cases blindness.
The quality of unregulated lenses does not match those available on prescription, and they’re unlikely to be supplied with the necessary cleaning solutions.
During an evening of revelry the temptation to ‘try out’ someone else’s Halloween lenses or worse, fall asleep without removing them simply increases the likelihood of damage.
Now before you accuse us of being complete killjoys, you CAN still have your Halloween contact lenses… who are we to deny you the right to scare the heebie jeebies out of your friends and loved ones!
You just need to take the same degree of care when buying and wearing novelty lenses as with any other contact lenses.
Where can I find novelty Halloween contact lenses that won't harm my vision?
Billson Opticians in Haverhill are your local contact lens specialists, who can make sure you look great, have fun and protect your precious eyesight on Halloween.
Whether you need corrective lenses or zero-powered lenses purely for cosmetic purposes you will need an examination for fitting and to check your suitability for contact lens wear.
Most importantly, Billson Opticians can give you all the expert advice you need on handling, cleaning and storing your lenses.
Each person is different, which is why these off-the-shelf novelty lenses can be so dangerous. The team at Billson Opticians in Haverhill will advise on how long and how often you can wear your lenses for. Even if you already wear regular contact lenses, wearing times for cosmetic lenses will vary from person to person.
And of course they will ensure that your Halloween contact lenses come from a reputable manufacturer.
Getting it right now means you will protect your eyesight for the future and if you store your lenses correctly they can be used again and again, making them much more cost effective than dangerous, throwaway lenses, protecting your pocket as well as your eyesight.
Please click here for more information and full contact details for Billson Opticians in Haverhill.
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!