College of Optometrists issues advice for those wearing novelty contact lenses for fancy dress

31 October 2018
Source: College of Optometrists

Avoid a fright: College of Optometrists’ survey reveals over a fifth of people in the UK haveCollege of Optometrisits Logo worn or plan to wear novelty contact lenses


If you’re considering wearing novelty contact lenses this Halloween, you might be in for a scare! The College of Optometrists recently conducted research revealing over a fifth (22.8 per cent) of people in the UK have or plan to wear novelty contacts, which, without the appropriate care, could leave the user at risk of infection.

The College of Optometrists has issued the following advice for those intending to wear contact lenses this Halloween:

Although non-prescription lenses are widely available online and on the high street from hairdressers, tattoo parlours and nail bars, it is illegal to sell these lenses without the direct supervision of an optometrist, dispensing optician or doctor.

Unlike standard contact lenses, fancy dress lenses are not tailored to your eyes, which can increase the risk of eye health issues. Lenses that are not properly fitted, or from unreputable sources may scratch your eye or cause an infection, so it is important that any contact lenses you wear are from a reputable source and fitted by a qualified professional who can give you the appropriate advice on how to use them safely.

If you are re-wearing contact lenses of any sort, including novelty lenses, you must make sure that you clean them thoroughly after use and disinfect them with the recommended contact lens solution. Never use tap water, the wrong solution, or lick them – and if they drop on the floor don’t simply pop them back in.

You should not share contact lenses with friends, as even quickly trying them on can lead to eye infections.

Driving with novelty lenses at night (even if you wear glasses over the top) may also be dangerous: if the lenses are opaque with a hole for you to look through, they may impair your vision if the hole that you look through does not align with your pupil.

If you experience any eye discomfort when, or after, wearing any type of contact lens contact your optometrist without delay.

Full information on the College of Optometrist Website

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