Costume Contacts: Sourcing and Safety
Costume contact lenses are often a cool and spooky way to upgrade a Halloween costume or cosplay outfit.
Unlike the rest of the costume, however, these contact lenses are medical devices. We should always take special care to buy safe ones that fit correctly. Follow these tips from the optometrist to ensure you get costume contacts you can trust for your costume.
All Contact Lenses Are Medical Devices, Even Costume Contacts
Most of the time, when someone wears contact lenses, it’s to correct a vision problem. However, even contact lenses that are just for show are medical devices that require a prescription. Unlike glasses prescriptions, contact lens prescriptions are also for the fit! Contact lenses are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s critical to get the right size so that they don’t slip off or scratch your cornea.
Not All Vendors Are Trustworthy
An important red flag to know about when you buy costume contacts is whether or not they require a prescription before selling. If they skip that step, they’re violating US law, and if they’re willing to do that, who knows what other safety, sanitation, and quality corners they’re cutting? Requiring a prescription is a good sign of a trustworthy vendor, and it’s worth a little higher price tag to be confident that the lenses you buy are safe.
How to Properly Care for Your Costume Contacts
Once you have purchased prescription costume lenses from a trustworthy vendor, the ball is in your court, and it’s up to you to take good care of them and follow the instructions carefully so that you don’t risk an eye infection. It’s important to follow these steps:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses.
- Try not to rub or touch your eyes while the contacts are in.
- Always use fresh contact lens solution to clean your contacts. NEVER use water. NEVER recycle cleaning solution. NEVER use saliva (that’s a great way to introduce oral bacteria to your eyes!).
- Follow the package instructions on how long to keep the contacts in and how often to replace them. This is particularly important for large scleral lenses, as they allow less oxygen to reach the cornea.
- Keep hydrated and use contact-friendly eyedrops when you need them (again, especially with scleral lenses).
Contact Us if You Need a Contact Lens Prescription Before Halloween
We hope our patients are able to realize their most elaborate Halloween costume or cosplay goals, so don’t forget to schedule an appointment for a contact lens prescription if yours is out-of-date or you don’t have one yet. We’d love to see pictures of your costume when it’s finished!