Doctor: Halloween-themed contact lenses can cause harm

CLEVELAND - It can look cool to liven up your Halloween costume with a pair of decorative contact lenses.  What you may not know though, is that they are not "one size fits all" and can damage your vision.

Dr. Paul Rychwalski, is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist at the Cleveland Clinic.  He says both kids and adults should think twice about using them.

"The front surface of our eye, on which the contact lens lies requires oxygen in the tear film and from the air. And so, if we cover that with a piece of plastic we're really creating a barrier to the natural way the cornea gets it's nutrients and oxygen," said Dr. Rychwalski.

Decorative lenses have been known to scratch the cornea. They can also cause infections, pink eye, and decrease vision. 

Dr. Rychwalski says to get the best fit, the curvature of the eye should be measured, along with how the lens refracts light. He says you should never buy lenses from places like beauty salons, Halloween stores, or boutiques.

Even when you're buying colored contacts you should have an exam done by an eye care professional, who can write you a prescription for the lenses.

"Simply using the contact lenses as a cosmetic device really isn't a good idea. If your doctor is prescribing contact lenses and you also want to change the eye color, that's safe to do because he or she has access to lenses that change the eye color but are also passing these very strict standards," said Dr. Rychwalski.

Dr. Rychwalski says to leave your eyeball alone when putting on your costume. He suggests using hypo-allergenic make-ups to dress up the area around the eyes, instead.

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