Be Scary But Safe With Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

October 6, 2016

Media Contact:
Deirdre Middleton, 703.837.1347

The American Optometric Association reminds consumers of possible eye and vision problems resulting from the improper or illegal use of contact lenses

ST. LOUIS - Halloween is all about trick-or-treating for the kids, and for partygoers, finding a creative costume that 'wows.' Some may wear decorative contact lenses as part of their costume. However, if these lenses are bought illegally and without a prescription from your eye doctor, they could lead to serious health issues and potentially damage your eyesight permanently. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends talking to your doctor first and obtaining a prescription before incorporating decorative contact lenses as part of your costume.

"Changing your eye color or creating the effect of being a character like a zombie, vampire, or movie character is very popular for Halloween, but every year, consumers are harmed by lenses purchased from questionable sources," said Andrea P. Thau, O.D., president of the American Optometric Association. "Many consumers consider these lenses a fashion or costume accessory when, in reality, decorative lenses are also classified as medical devices and still pose the same potential safety and health issues as corrective contact lenses, and require a prescription."   To stay safe but be scary this Halloween, the AOA offers five easy tips:

  1. See a doctor of optometry for an in-person, comprehensive eye examination and proper fitting and prescription for decorative contacts lenses, even if you don't require lenses to correct your vision.
  2. Use cleaning solution to rub the lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight.
  3. Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace your case every three months.
  4. Don't share your lenses with friends or family members.
  5. No matter how tired you are, do not sleep in your contacts.

See your doctor of optometry immediately if you experience redness, pain, irritation, or blurred vision while wearing your lenses.  

For more information about contact lens hygiene and safety, as well as the risks associated with decorative contact lenses, please visit  

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find a doctor of optometry near you, visit