Costume contact lenses might seem like an easy way to up your Halloween game, but we recommend that our patients skip them. Though costume lenses can be found online and in some Halloween shops, selling them without a prescription is illegal—and using them without a prescription can blind you.
Contact lenses are not “one size fits all,” and poorly fitting lenses can cause irritation, infection and even vision-threatening ulcers.
That’s exactly what happened to Julian Hamlin, a North Carolina teen, who developed an ulcer that led to multiple surgeries, secondary cataracts and glaucoma, and even the loss of vision in one eye. He purchased his colored lenses at a gas station without a prescription. Here’s his story:
Some types of contact lenses are illegal even with a prescription. Circle lenses are contact lenses that cover a large part of the eye. They go beyond the iris and extend to the whites of the eye, in order to make eyes appear larger, like those of Anime cartoon characters. These lenses are popular in Asia among teens, and we at Tarantino Cho Eye Center have had some of our teenage patients request them too. We’ve always advised against them, not only because they aren’t FDA approved, but also because the risk to the eye is too great.
Tarantino Cho Eye Center urges our patients to steer clear of any type of non-prescription lens this Halloween.
Stay safe and have fun!
Tarantino Cho Eye Center
Glen Burnie, MD