Thousands of party-goers are risking going blind for using novelty contact lenses on Halloween, eye experts have warned.
The lenses, available online and in fancy dress shops, can cause ulcers, tears on the cornea, infections and permanent sight damage.
Contact lenses should only be given out by a prescription in the UK.
But novelty lenses can be bought and used without any safety checks being made on the eyes.
This means some people who have never used lenses before are damaging their eyes just by putting them in the wrong way – and have no idea of the dangers of poor eye hygiene.
Carrie-Anne Balloch, 21, from Leeds, was left in agony after wearing a pair of cat’s eyes contacts at a party last year.
She was forced to sleep with a wet towel over her eyes for two weeks after the pair she bought for £9.99 on eBay scraped the delicate skin on her cornea.
Miss Balloch said: ‘It was horrible and looking back now, I can’t believe I did it.
‘I bought the lenses on eBay and didn’t really think twice about their safety as loads of my friends have used them and been fine.
‘As soon as I put them in, I felt like my eyes were being scraped and I could hardly see as they were just streaming, but my friends said it would take a while to get used to them.