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Are Halloween contact lenses OK for one-time use?

Closeup of eyes with yellowish eyeballs (contact lenses)

Scary looking, but scarier for your eyes. (Photo: Flickr/Arun Kamaraj)

Are Halloween contact lenses OK for one-time use?

October 09, 2012

Q: Are cosmetic contact lenses safe to wear for people who wear glasses? I was looking to wear them as a one-time use for Halloween. My concern is that I wear prescription glasses and I have never worn contacts of any type. I have gone several hours without my glasses, but I am a little worried.

A: Most of the Halloween lenses or Wild Eyes-type lenses are not approved by the FDA. The concern I have is that the Halloween contact lenses can be extremely dangerous, and every year we see cases of blindness due to their use.

We simply don't know what they're made of, as they are made in China and are often mislabeled. A recent study found that the pigment dye in the lenses was a strong carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).

If you are interested in lenses just for Halloween, I suggest obtaining a contact lens fitting through your optometrist. There are very few FDA-approved lenses for cosmetic colors. These can only be obtained via a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist.

-- Answer from Ian W., optometrist on JustAnswer.

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