People are being warned not to play “Russian roulette” with their vision by “chancing it” with Halloween-themed contact lenses.
The alert comes in response to a growing trend of people buying these novelty items from market stalls or over the internet, potentially putting their eye health at risk.
The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has advised that people should speak to their registered practitioner if they want to add ‘spooky’ contact lenses to your fancy dress outfit.
BCLA President, Keith Tempany, said: “Wearing fancy lenses might make you look cool for one night on Halloween but losing your sight could be a lifelong horror story.
“Cosmetic coloured lenses are a medical device and should be prescribed by an eye care professional. These lenses should only be purchased from – and fitted by – a registered practitioner.
“By sharing coloured contact lenses young people are playing Russian roulette and chancing it with their eye health and putting their sight at risk.”
The lenses, which alter eye colour and have been made popular by smash hit TV series and films including Twilight, are often shared around amongst friends –
increasing the risk of corneal ulcers and infections.
The campaign is warning against buying lenses from fashion outlets, market stalls and unregistered online sellers and will stress the importance of visiting an eye care professional to ensure lenses fit properly and receive expert advice on how to wear and store them safely.
The BCLA has produced an infographic (attached) highlighting the potential dangers of Halloween-themed novelty lenses.
For more details about the British Contact Lens Association, visit www.bcla.org.uk.