Costume contact lenses pose dangers

by Meredith Cohn

Wearing cosmetic contact lenses might seem like a nice way to finish off a good Halloween costume, but they can cause serious eye injury, according to an association of ophthalmologists.

Non-prescription contacts have been illegal since 2005 because they are considered medical devices, but are still available in some stores and online, and customers seeking to augment their holiday outfits.

Wearing them can result in permanent , according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They may not be manufactured to meet federal health and safety standards, the group says, and cause cuts and sores in the protective layer of the iris and pupil or bacterial infections. That could necessitate surgery or vision loss.

"What happens to people's eyes after just one evening of wearing non-prescription costume is tragic," said Dr. Thomas Steinemann, professor of at MetroHealth Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The statement from Steinemann continued: "It all could have been avoided if these patients just took a little extra time to obtain a prescription and only wore FDA-approved lenses. I understand how tempting it is to dress up your eyes on Halloween without a prescription and using over-the-counter lenses, but people should not let one night of fun ruin their vision for a lifetime."

For more information, go to geteyesmart.org .

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cutting-edge implant helps patients see clearly

Sep 23, 2013

A Sunrise, Fla., surgeon is among the first in the nation to perform a stitch-less implant in the eye to correct both acute myopia and astigmatism, a debilitating pair of conditions that afflict millions of Americans.

Recommended for you

Simple test could detect serious eye condition early

Aug 28, 2014

A simple colour test that could detect the early onset of a condition which accounts for over half of visual impairment certifications in the UK is being researched by scientists at Aston University.

Yellow pigment in eye may aid vision through haze

Aug 25, 2014

Individuals with greater amounts of yellow pigment in the eye may be better able to see distant objects in hazy conditions, suggests a study in the September issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the A ...

New DNA test for diagnosing diseases linked to childhood blindness

Aug 21, 2014

Researchers in the United Kingdom have demonstrated that advanced DNA testing for congenital cataracts can quickly and accurately diagnose a number of rare diseases marked by childhood blindness, according to a study published online today in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy o ...

User comments