Loyola optometrist warns not to wear tinted contact lenses for Halloween without a prescription

Decorative tinted contact lenses will be popular accessories this Halloween, but a Loyola University Medical Center optometrist is warning that improper use could cause severe eye damage.

" should never be worn without a prescription from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist," said Peter Russo, OD, director of the Contact Lens Program at Loyola University Medical Center. "In fact, it is against the law to sell decorative contact lenses without a prescription."

Non-prescription Halloween contacts come in such colors as white zombie, red vampire and "sexy sapphire." They are sold illegally in beauty shops, costume stores and over the Internet.

Many buyers are teenagers and young adults. When purchased without a prescription, these lenses may not be fitted properly, and buyers usually do not receive proper instruction on how to care for and wear contacts. Users might, for example, use the wrong solution, share with a friend, wear improperly, fail to disinfect or use tap water rather than contact lens solution, Russo said.

Improper use can cause and infections, making eyes red and painful. Even when these complications are treated, there's still a risk that could permanently impair vision and require a , Russo said.

"Even when worn for a relatively short period of time, such as during a Halloween party, decorative contact lenses can damage eyes if not used properly," Russo said. "They may seem like a lot of fun, but they're

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scleral lenses benefit patients with corneal irregularities

Oct 09, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—A UC Davis Health System Eye Center study found that scleral lenses, which rest beyond the limits of the cornea and cover the white part of the eye (sclera), were a good alternative for patients with corneal ...

Wearing contact lenses can affect glaucoma measurements

Jan 13, 2012

A study about how wearing contact lenses affects glaucoma measurements has been named the top presentation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine's annual St. Albert's Day research symposium.

Study: Lasik safer than contact lenses

Oct 11, 2006

Portland, Ore., researchers have said contact lens users are more likely than Lasik surgery patients to develop complications leading to further vision loss.

Recommended for you

Looking ahead: Whole eye transplant under development

Sep 22, 2014

The concept of a whole eye transplant seems futuristic, if not impossible. But with a $1million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine hope to someday ...

A second look at glaucoma surgery

Sep 18, 2014

New research led by Queen's University professor Robert Campbell (Ophthalmology) has revealed using anti-inflammatory medications after glaucoma laser surgery is not helpful or necessary.

Stem cells have potential to repair diseased corneas

Sep 18, 2014

Corneal transplant (keratoplasty) is a known means of successfully treating corneal disease. However, without unlimited donor corneas, researchers say there is a need to study alternate methods of treatment ...

User comments