Do you get a kick out of changing up your appearance from time to time. How about giving people a shock…Colored contact lens can change your eye color but what if you want something a bit more dramatic? For special occasions, especially Halloween, special effects contact lenses will add the finishing touch to any costume.
However, on the other side of fun are some very real safety concerns when it comes to special effect lenses. Let’s take a look at both.
Some of the pros of special effects contact lenses include:
- Totally change your appearance
- Amazing finishing touch to costumes
- Get you noticed
- Some special effects lenses come in prescription powers
- Set yourself apart from similar costumes
So what’s the down side? Like all types of contact lenses, wearing special effects lenses come with risks:
- Special effect contact lens are thicker than normal lens and you may find them uncomfortable
- If you are not used to wearing contact lenses regularly, they can cause dry or irritated eyes
- Poor quality lens from questionable sources can cause serious eye complications such as allergic reactions (itchy watery eyes), decreased vision, infection and even blindness
Signs of possible eye infection include redness, pain in the eyes that doesn’t go away after a short period of time, and decreased vision. If you have any of these signs, see a licensed eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) immediately and receive treatment.
You can avoid some of these risks by following the directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses provided by your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t give you any directions — ask for them!
Always make sure you buy contact lenses from a reputable source. Just because special effect lenses are for show and not necessarily prescription, doesn’t mean they are not still considered medical devices. In the U.S., you must provide a prescription to order contact lenses. Cosmetic lenses with no vision correction have a prescription of 0.00.
Some contact lens retailers are outside the U.S. and may not be require a prescription however you should still get one from an eye doctor. Just like regular contact lenses you should never buy contact lenses from a street vendor, a beauty supply store, flea market, novelty store or Halloween store—and you should always have a prescription.
Special Effects Lens Safety
To ensure that your eyes are kept safe and sound, schedule an appointment with your optometrist. Your eye doctor will first off make sure your eyes are healthy and secondly will determine the correct lens type and size based on your eyes. Different eye curvatures, eye dryness (amount of tears your eyes produce) and vision needs all play a role in choosing the best contact lens for you. Even though special effect contact lenses seem like a cosmetic accessory, they are medical devices.
Finally, keeping your lens clean is extremely important. Clean and store contact lenses properly with lens solution and a clean lens case. Do not store special effect lenses in the vials they come in.
Special effect contact lenses can be a really fun way to add something extra to your Halloween outfit, theater costume, or just for any special occasion. Always make sure that you only buy from licensed stores that follow all regulations. Contact lenses, including special effect lens, must adhere to strict regulations in order to keep your eyes safe and healthy. Stay away from purchasing online or cosmetic supply stores.
You can find out if you are purchasing safe special effect contact lenses by asking for their state license number or searching this is a list of the lenses allowed to be sold in the U.S.