Health: Warnings About Halloween Decorative Contact Lenses
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By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A renewed Halloween warning, the holiday is just two weeks away. Doctors say an edgy costume trend can be dangerous. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl shows you what to watch out for.
They can change your eye color, even the shape of your pupils, for Halloween. But doctors say these cosmetic contact lenses can cause long-term eye damage.
“The worst that can happen is you can end up with some permanent vision loss from wearing these contact lenses. There’s been some documented cases of blindness,” said Dr. Jeff Sarazen, an Optometrist.
Doctors say they’re seeing an increasing number of eye problems linked to the non-prescription fashion lenses.
“People are buying them at gas stations, kiosks in the mall, and that’s the way some of these companies are distributing these illegally,” said Dr. Sarazen.
Federal law requires a prescription for contacts, even decorative ones.
Doctors say contacts can become dangerous when they’re not properly fitted to someone’s specific eye shape, one size does not fit all.
“Get a comprehensive eye exam. Make sure your eyes can wear and tolerate contact lenses and make sure you get the right fit. That’s really important,” said Dr. Sarazen.
Risks associated with the decorative lenses include getting a cut or scratch on the eye, having an allergic reaction, an infection, and decreased vision.
“They’re very dark. They don’t allow the right amount of light in. Your pupils tend to dilate at night a little bit and if you’re driving with them in, you might not see the little trick-or-treaters that are running around,” said Dr. Sarazen.
Doctors say children under 12 should not wear cosmetic lenses since their eyes are not fully developed.
Related Link: FDA Decorative Lenses Advice