Wearing Halloween contact lenses increases risk of blindness, experts warn

Don't let your night turn into a real-life horror story

They’re a popular novelty item for Halloween costumes, but coloured contact lenses could leave you blind, eye doctors have warned.

If bought online or from a market stall, it’s possible that the lenses could give you an infection as they may not have been medically-approved.

An esteemed eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London has said that he sees an increasing number of emergency lens-related cases during Halloween, reports BBC.

Badrul Hussain is treating more and more children under the age of 16 who have developed infections after wearing novelty contact lenses.

“Some of the cases we see, like patients sharing lenses with friends, wearing the same pair year after year well past the expiry date, and storing them in tap water, have devastating effects,” he said.

Hussain stresses the importance of lens after-care in avoiding infection, explaining that most novelty lens brands don’t offer substantial medical advice, which puts wearers at a higher risk of developing injuries and possible sight loss.

The cornea area of the eye is particularly vulnerable and can be easily scratched or impaired if a lens is inserted incorrectly, he added.

Novelty lenses are widely available online, starting at around £5.99 per pair.

They are increasingly popular around October time, as people start planning their fancy dress outfits for Halloween parties.

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) issued a warning last year that the lenses could result in sight loss.

“Wearing fancy lenses might make you look cool for one night on Halloween but losing your sight could be a lifelong horror story,” said Brian Tompkins, president of the BCLA.

“To minimise the risks of infection and ongoing eye health issues, it is essential that all lenses are individually prescribed by a fully qualified professional,” he added.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in