Ontario’s Optometrists Caution Wearing Cosmetic Contact Lenses on Halloween

Spooky cosmetic contact lenses may add the finishing touch to your Halloween costume, but they are no treat for your eyes and may be causing more harm than you think. 

“Changing the look of your eyes with non-prescription contact lenses for a chilling Halloween look can be tempting, but what’s most frightening are the effects they can have on your eyes,” says Dr. Joshua C. Smith, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). “Contact lenses are used primarily to correct vision and must be prescribed by an eye care provider like optometrists. Even cosmetic lenses are a medical device and are regulated by Health Canada, which is why they can only be dispensed by an eye care professional.”

Tempting though it may be to purchase cosmetic contacts at a convenience store or other retail outlet, don’t be tricked into thinking they’re safe.

“Cosmetic contact lenses which are not tailored by an optometrist to fit the contour of your eyes correctly can increase the risk of serious eye health issues,” explains Dr. Smith.

Contact lenses that are not properly fitted can scratch the eye or cause infection, even if only worn once for a Halloween costume. Irreversible damage can be caused if used incorrectly or purchased without the guidance of an optometrist. Some health risks include; eye irritation, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal ulcers, vision loss and even blindness. 

“Contact lenses are not a “one-size-fits-all” since each eye is shape uniquely, says Dr. Smith. “That why it’s important to recognize the health risks involved when choosing to wear contact lenses without a prescription. Talk to your optometrist about getting cosmetic lenses fitted to your eyes so you can wear them safely this Halloween.” 

To decrease the risks associated with wearing cosmetic contact lenses, speak with an optometrist first. They are trained and qualified to select the appropriate contact lens material, fit and care regime that works best for your eyes.

Adding special effects to your Halloween costume can be fun, but not at the expense of your eyes. 

Find an optometrist near you.

The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is the leading professional organization, representing over 1,600 optometrists. We are dedicated to helping our members provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care for Ontarians while driving the profession of optometry forward.  For more information: optom.on.ca.

Brittany Blow
Ontario Association of Optometrists
905-826-3522 ext. 246