The dangers of wearing novelty contact lenses

The dangers of wearing novelty contact lenses image

It’s that time of year again and the Daily Mail have published an article  today warning party-goers and trick or treater’s of the risks of wearing novelty contact lenses for the Halloween celebrations.

Novelty contact lenses can be purchased online and in numerous fancy dress  shops. These lenses can be obtained without any eye examination, and may be completely unsuitable for the individual even though in the UK  contact lenses should only be given out on prescription by a registered Opticians. Unsuitable and poor fitting contact lenses can cause ulcers,  corneal damage and infections leading to long term eye and vision  problems.

Dangers of wearing novalty contact lenses

According to legislation and General Optical Council guidelines, contact lenses  should always be prescribed by a qualified Optometrist or contact lens  optician who measures each eye to fit the lenses and checks how the eyes respond. Simon Greir, spokesman for the General Optical Council, said  the lenses should not even be on sale.

Eye surgeon David Allamby said “Decorative contact lenses need to be treated in the same way as prescription contact lenses, with thorough guidance on how to put them in and follow up care“.

Badly fitting lenses can cause ulceration or abrasions to the cornea, conjunctivitis, reduced vision and even blindness.

David Allamby said It’s quite shocking that you can just pick these things  up on the internet or in a fancy dress shop with no advice or aftercare”. Mr Allaby continued I have seen some terrible cases of injuries from  contacts and novelty ones aren’t likely to be of the same quality as  those on prescription“.

Inserting or removing contact lenses incorrectly can lead to corneal damage,  bacteria can breed behind the lenses which can lead to ulcers and  ultimately blindness.

Furthermore people have been known to sleep in these contact lenses following a  hard nights partying, this increases the likelihood of infection. David  Allamby said “They [people] need to understand there is a risk of them  permanently damaging their eyes”.

He explained: “Cosmetic contact lenses should be supplied only by or under the supervision of a registered Optician or medical practitioner. This  equally applies to lenses described as ‘eye accessories’”.

“Supervision requires the registered person to be present on the premises, aware of  the procedure and in a position to intervene if necessary and the  supplier must also make arrangements for the wearer to receive ongoing  care. Any sales of cosmetic contact lenses that do not meet these requirements are illegal under the Opticians Act.”

If you want to wear contact lenses then Valli Opticians can fit and prescribe them for you. Visit to find out more or contact us at for an appointment, alternatively visit to find your nearest store.

To read the Daily mails article visit

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