Everything to know before you use coloured contact lenses on Halloween

Even if you're not partial to going all out, head-to-toe in full Halloween costume glory (and this year might see a stop to that), chances are you'll want to make some effort - and many of us do this through beauty.  If you let the makeup do the talking, no one may notice that you somehow 'forgot' to wear the accompanying spooky ensemble


A popular option these days - even outside of All Hallow's Eve - is to go for a coloured or cosmetic contact lens. At this time of year, they stand out for their transformative qualities; they make the windows to the soul look even more alluring. They are also used to enhance your natural eye colour, so quite a few opt to wear them on a daily basis, but for the purpose of this piece, it's using them as an accompaniment to your zombie attire that we're going to talk about.

If you're going to wear them, caution must be taken; used incorrectly and you could seriously damage your sight. Here's everything you need to know about coloured contact lenses:

You should get a pair fitted by an option to minimise the risk to your eyes

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It's tempting, and we've all done it; order some cheap, creepy contact lenses online. However, any type of contact lens – no matter where they’re from – that haven’t been properly fitted by an eye care professional can cause serious damage to your eyes.

Even wearing cheap ones for a short time could pose serious risks to your sight

According to Specsavers, some eye conditions people can experience after wearing these types of lenses include:

  • Decreased, or blurry vision
  • Redness
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Scratches on the cornea
  • Corneal swelling
  • Eye ulcers
  • Eye pain
  • Blindness, in extreme cases

Specsavers is one optician that will fit you for a pair of your choosing; you'll pay a bit more for these, but the emphasis is on quality and minimising risks quality pair which will minimise any risk to your eyes.

You really need an eye examination before you wear them

In Ireland, it's illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses unless they are supplied to a valid contact lens prescription. All lenses, including non-prescription lenses, are now classed as medical devices, and should only be supplied or supervised by a registered optician. Coloured lenses can be worn without a prescription, but you'll still need an eye examination before you wear them.

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What do I need to know if I do wear them?

Registered eye care professionals would advise against wearing cheap contact lenses from the Internet and without a proper prescription, especially if you have never worn contacts before. But if you have or are planning to use them, here are some things you can do to ensure your eyes stay safe and healthy. Take them out immediately if they feel uncomfortable
at any point.

  • Make sure you understand how to clean and handle the lenses, as well as other recommended instructions.
  • Look out for ‘CE’ marking on the packaging. This indicates the lenses conform to health, safety and environmental protection standards.
  • Don't share your lenses with other people, as this can cause infections.
  • Don't wear them for extended periods of time.
  • Never them over your normal contact lenses.
  • Do not use a torn or damaged lens.

Experts come out every year to advise people against using cosmetic lenses unless you get them from a professional.

Have fun with an eye-catching look this Halloween, but don't damage your peepers in the process.

Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.


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