AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Halloween contact lenses can be the perfect finishing touch for a spooky costume, but the decorative accessory may actually have unforeseen consequences.
Local optometrists say infections and bacteria the most common issues that arise from these type of contact lenses.
"You can run into issues like bacterial infections and corneal ulcers which can both leave permanent scaring," Dr. Jack Thomas said. "The effects to your vision can be long term and then you run into other issues like not getting enough oxygen to the surface of the eye. (There's) a lot of different issues people don't factor or think about when they're purchasing a lens just for fun."
Thomas said lenses pose a health risk because many are only offered as one-size-fits-all, but no two eyes are the same.
Plus, not all over the counter lenses are FDA-approved.
Doctors urge those dressing up for Halloween to do some research before buying these special lenses.
Thomas says it's best to plan ahead and order your cosmetic lenses through your doctor to avoid potential problems.
Anyone who uses unfit Halloween contacts can be at risk, but teenagers report having problems caused by the lenses the most.
"The biggest concern we have is actually with teenagers and even younger patients who are sharing contact lenses," Thomas said. "They'll have something they want their friend to take a look at and try on see what it looks like on their eye. They're basically sharing a medical device that has been on somebody else's eye and that's a great way to spread infection."
If you plan to wear Halloween contact lenses, be on the lookout for irritation, redness or a change in vision. If you show any of these symptoms, Thomas advises to remove the contact immediately.