Iowans dressing up as vampires or zombies for Halloween may want to finish off the look with a pair of novelty contact lenses, but it’s risky.
The lenses come in dozens of styles, ranging from glow-in-the-dark to cat’s eyes, but Ophthalmologist John Peters says those lenses can be dangerous and they’re not one-size-fits-all.
“This isn’t something where you can go to a shop and simply buy an item off the counter with no formal assessment of your eyes to make sure your eyes are healthy enough to wear the contact lenses,” Dr. Peters says.
“Contact lenses have to be fit to your eye, they have to have a curve that matches the curve of your eye.”
Peters says there are many things a patient needs to know before walking out his door with a pair of contacts. “You also have to be trained how to insert and remove the contact lenses appropriately, what hygiene is appropriate,” Peters says.
“You have to be given a wearing schedule for your contact lenses to do it safely. This is not a toy. It’s extremely dangerous for people to do this and it’s illegal for these shops to be selling these lenses in such a manner.” Peters, who practices in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says contact lenses that aren’t properly fitted can scratch the eye or cause an ulcer.
There is also the risk of infection that can cause severe pain and even blindness.