Experts warn rise in social media ads for novelty contact lenses could make the bloody eye look a reality on Halloween night

Following a rise in social media ads for novelty contact lenses, Feel Good Contacts is warning Halloween pranksters of the dangers of buying costume contact lenses without a prescription from non-optical establishments. Lenses that have not been properly fitted can cause infections, scratches on the cornea, conjunctivitis and impaired vision.

With Halloween revellers moving their celebrations online, creating a virtual shock has become all important for Zoom parties and social media feeds. Many people are buying cheap cosmetic lenses which are being promoted across social media and sold without the supervision of an eye care practitioner.

Nimesh Shah, Marketing Director at Feel Good Contacts warned, “Whilst we want Halloween to be a memorable evening, we want it to be unforgettable for the right reasons and are warning consumers of the dangers of buying costume lenses without a prescription. Contact lenses are medical devices and should only be purchased with an optician’s prescription. In fact, it’s illegal to buy contact lenses without one. Even if you don’t need any vision correction, you still need to visit an optician to ensure that contact lenses are suitable for your eyes.”

Shah concluded: “We recommend that before buying your contact lenses you visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up, regardless of whether you are buying cosmetic lenses with or without powers. It is advisable that you avoid buying them from salons, beauty supply stores, boutiques, flea markets, novelty stores, Halloween stores, convenience stores or untrustworthy internet retailers. These outlets may not abide by the same safety standards and regulations as a reputable contact lens retailer. When purchasing contact lenses from non-optical establishments, you could be putting your eyes at risk of a long list of eye-related conditions, including but not limited to; corneal infection, scratches on the cornea, conjunctivitis and reduced visual acuity. At Feel Good Contacts, your eye health is our number one priority, which is why we only stock lenses from manufacturers that adhere to the strictest safety and quality regulations.”

You eye is a very delicate organ and we don’t want that bloody-eye look to become a reality, so here are some tips on how to buy and wear coloured contact lenses and stay safe this Halloween:

1. Before buying your contact lenses you should visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up. Even if you have good eyesight, you will still need to visit an optician to ensure that contact lenses are suitable for your eyes. If suitable, you will obtain a prescription with the lens dimensions to help you buy a proper fitting lens.

2. Buy the lenses from an eye care professional or vendor that requires a prescription. It is advisable that you avoid buying lenses from untrustworthy retailers as they might not abide by the same safety standards and regulations as a reputable contact lens retailer. Reputable brands will only stock lenses from manufacturers that adhere to the strictest safety and quality regulations.

Remember, contact lenses are medical devices and should only be purchased with an optician’s prescription. In fact, it’s illegal to buy contact lenses without one.

3. Always put your lenses in before applying your Halloween make up and take them out before you remove your make up.

4. Do not share your lenses with anyone. By sharing, you increase the chances of spreading eye diseases and corneal ulcers.

5. Follow the directions for cleaning (don’t use water), disinfecting and wearing the lenses. Do not overuse your lenses. If it is a single use lens, then only wear it for the day and do not exceed the recommended wearing time. If in doubt, follow the manufacturers’ instructions.

6. Do not sleep with your cosmetic lenses in. The lenses will become misaligned, irritate your eyes and in a worst-case scenario, permanently damage your eyes.

7. If you suffer from any redness, itching, swelling or irritation then remove your lenses immediately. Consult an optician and get your eyes treated as soon as possible.