Don’t lose your sight this Halloween

When putting together the finishing touches on their Halloween outfit many people opt for coloured or special effect contact lenses.

Each year people find that they end up damaging their eyes due to improper use of these lenses but if you use them properly and carefully, most issues are avoidable.

Cosmetic lenses are often designed with specific types of paint. Putting a contact lens covered in paint in your eye drastically reduces the level of oxygen reaching your eyes, this causes the blood vessels in your eyes to expand to compensate for the lack of oxygen, and this in turn will make them look red; great for Halloween but not great for your eyes!

Many cosmetic contact lenses come without aftercare information and some are not FDA approved or CE marked, increasing the likelihood of causing serious damage to your eyes. As such, if you want to go down the cosmetic contact lens route, it’s best to obtain them from a reputable supplier or via your optician.

If you haven’t been given cleaning solutions or instructions to apply and remove the contact lenses correctly you may be at risk of damaging your eyes. Cosmetic lenses tend to be thicker than usual prescription contact lenses and this means they are prone to drying out quicker and they will then be harder to remove. If you wear the lenses for long periods of time they also present the risk of developing ulcers on your eyes which may also become infected.

If you wish to wear coloured contact lenses the safest way to do so would be to visit your optician. They can fit the lenses properly and give you advice on how to care for the lenses in the best possible way. The optician can give you contact lens friendly eye-drops to prevent your eyes from drying out and also to clean the lenses.

It is important you do not use water to clean your lenses and that you do not share your lenses with other people. This is a recipe for disaster.

It’s important to remember that contact lenses don’t come as a ‘one size fits all’ and having the wrong lenses could be detrimental to your eyesight. They could cause scratches on the cornea of your eye, give you pink eye and can increase your chance of a serious infection. It is best to have your eyes measured by an optician so they can fit the lenses for you properly and see how your eyes respond to wearing the coloured contact lenses.

Should you care for your lenses correctly and follow the instructions on how to use them you should have a problem-free evening. However, in the event that something does go wrong it is essential you get to your closest eye casualty as soon as possible.

Follow our advice for safe contact lens wear and you’ll be a show-stopper with your special effect lenses – just don’t forget to take them out before you go to bed!

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