It’s that time of year again! Time to be creative and bring out your inner demons or fairies – depending on what you prefer. Creating the best look is often in the details and costume contact lenses are often a big part of bringing together the costume. They are great for completing your look and adding the final touches, however; we need to be weary of how we use contact lenses as they are considered medical devices and need to be used with caution. Here are some guidelines when it comes to wearing costume contact lenses.

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  1. Do not wear them for more than you need to.

Most costume contact lenses are marketed as “monthly disposable lenses” but because of the material that most manufacturers use for these lenses, it is not recommended to wear them for more than the one time you are using them for Halloween. Compared to prescription contact lenses made by Acuvue, Bausch & Lomb, CooperVIsion, or Alcon, these costume contacts are much lower in quality and are not healthy for your eyes. Once you are done wearing them for the night, it is best to simply throw them out.

2. Make sure they fit properly.

It is best if you can get a fitting done for the lenses to ensure they aren’t too tight or too loose. If they are too tight, it will make it more difficult to remove the lenses by the end of the night and you might end up scratching your eyes in the process. If they’re too loose, they might fall out in the middle of the night. It might be hard to find a clinic willing to do the fitting, but if you’re willing to pay the fee, in the long run to ensure you aren’t damaging your eyes – it is worth it.

3. Buy from a reputable company.

With the accessibility of the internet, it has made it extremely easy for anyone to sell contact lenses. Make sure you aren’t purchasing from some random guy’s basement where he repackaged old lenses for resale. This is to ensure you are at the very least, receiving new product to reduce the chance of infections. There were several articles released last year about people losing their vision from costume contact lenses bought from convenience stores and such.

4. Don’t use water to moisten or clean the lenses.halloween-contacts-wink-optometry

If you aren’t an experienced contact lens wearer, this would seem okay because we use water to clean a lot of things. However, because there are a lot of microbes and bacteria in water that we don’t want in our eyes, it is best to avoid contact with water when handling contact lenses. If you need to moisten the lenses or clean them, use proper contact lens solution or sterile saline (must be sterile). This is simply to avoid creating an environment for bacteria to grow.

5. If your eyes start to hurt or turn red, take them out immediately.

This is a sign that the contact lenses are either not fitting properly, causing damage, or the start of an infection. In which for all these cases, the lens needs to be removed. Once the lens is removed, if the redness or pain subsides, things should be okay. However, if the pain or redness does not go away, it is crucial that you go to see an optometrist as soon as possible to deal with whatever is going on in your eyes. The last thing you need, would be an infection that ends up eating away your cornea and losing your vision.

Overall, just be safe! Make the right choices and if the white-out contact lenses is what you need to complete your costume, then go ahead! Happy Halloween everyone!

If you are in need of a proper fitting, feel free to book an appointment (fee applicable) and bring the lenses you will be wearing so that our doctor of optometry can ensure they won’t damage your eyes. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to drop by Wink, your local Burnaby optometry clinic, today and we will be happy to help you out.

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Natasha Liaw

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