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The Dangers of Costume Contact Lenses


As Halloween approaches, vibrantly coloured makeup and decorative contact lenses become increasingly popular. Even if you believe you have perfect vision, you can avoid serious eye complications by educating yourself on the risks and dangers of costume lenses.


Costume contact lenses can cause irritation, bacterial infections, corneal ulcers, scratches, conjunctivitis and even blindness. Unfortunately, decorative contact lenses are not ‘one size fits all’ and should be worn with extreme caution.


Corneal ulcers are painful sores that develop on the cornea, the outer part of the eye. When contact lens wearers do not handle the lenses with proper care it may result in corneal scratches or ulcers which if left untreated may lead to permanent vision loss.


Contact lenses that are shared or not cleaned properly may cause bacterial conjunctivitis. Wearing contact lenses with red, irritated eyes from conjunctivitis may cause damage to the cornea.


Avoid accident and emergency this Halloween by following these tips:


  • Contact lenses should never be shared with others.
  • Contact lenses should never be worn for extended periods of time.
  • Any damaged or torn contact lenses should be thrown away and are not suitable for use.
  • Keep contact lenses clean and moist.
  • Contact lenses should be cleaned and handled appropriately, always wash your hands before and after inserting or removing a lens.
  • Never sleep wearing contact lenses.
  • Thoroughly read all instructions to prevent and avoid eye injury.


Using decorative lenses without a valid prescription may cause damages to the eyes. Before considering wearing contact lenses, it is advisable to book an eye examination and talk to your ophthalmologist. You should get a valid prescription that includes details of the expiry date, lens measurements and brand. All lenses should be purchased from a credible retailer that requires a prescription before the point of sale.


Make sure you contact an eye doctor immediately if you notice any redness, persistent eye pain, reduced or blurred vision or any other eye symptoms, these may be indicative of a possible eye infection. The involvement of an eye care professional can significantly reduce your risks of eye injuries and prevent permanent vision loss.


Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.


Please call 0800 197 8808 for friendly advice and information.