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Florida Eye Institute Blog

Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

Scary-looking costume contact lenses may elevate your Halloween’s fright factor but wearing them without a prescription can result in something far more terrifying – eye damage or blindness. It is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, but they can still be easily purchased at places such as beauty supply stores, costume shops, and the Internet. Falsely advertised as “one-size-fits-all” or “no prescription necessary,” costume contact lenses can cause serious, and permanent damage. The doctors at Florida Eye Institute remind costume planners of five frightening consequences of wearing non-prescriptive contact lenses: Scratches to the eye – when contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front, ‘window’ of the eye. This is called a corneal abrasion, which is not only painful but can cause permanent damage. Treatment often involves medication and patching. Sometimes, damage cannot be reversed and results in corneal scarring, vision loss, and eyelid damage. Infection – Research shows wearing non-prescription contact lenses increases the risk of keratitis infection by 16 times. Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary. Pink eye – Non-sterile contact lenses can spread germs, causing conditions such as

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