Creepy costume lenses might add a spine-tingling thrill to your Halloween costume, but wearing costume contact lenses without a prescription can lead to serious eye infections or permanent vision loss.

A poorly fitted contact lens can easily scrape the cornea, the outer layer of the eye, making the eye more vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria and viruses. In some extreme cases, infections can create scarring so severe it can permanently affect your vision.

Although it is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, they are available at costume shops, gas stations, and online. Research shows that people who purchase contacts without a prescription face an increased risk of developing an infection.

The following types can help you protect your sight, while still giving you that ghoulish look for this Halloween.

  • See an eye care professional to receive a prescription for costume contact lenses.
    Packaging that claims “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye doctor” is false. Get
    properly fitted by an optometrist.
  • Properly care for contact lenses. Even if you have a prescription for contact lenses,
    proper care remains essential.
  • Never share contacts. Pink eye isn’t a good look, even for a costume. Sharing contacts
    can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye, which is highly contagious.
  • Never overwear or sleep in contact lenses. Costume contacts are not meant for long
    term use as they do not allow enough oxygen to the cornea. It is best to wear them for
    occasional use like costume parties or special events. We suggest not wearing them any
    longer than eight hours.
  • Spread the word to others about the dangers of costume contacts. Don’t let friends
    make the mistake of wearing costume contacts without a prescription.

If your eyes the next morning give you a fright, make sure to call the Mabee Eye Clinic for help.