EYE care experts are warning people of the dangers of buying novelty-themed contact lenses this Halloween.

Halloween-themed contact lenses have become increasingly popular throughout the years, with many people choosing to wear them to enhance their costumes. In the past week, searches for ‘Halloween contact lenses’ have increased by 71 per cent.

However, not only is it illegal to buy contact lenses with an optician's prescription, but it also comes with health risks.

Falmouth Packet: Although they may 'enhance' Halloween costume, the lenses could cause damage to eyesAlthough they may 'enhance' Halloween costume, the lenses could cause damage to eyes (Image: Pexels)Contact lens optician at Feel Good Contacts Tina Patel explains: “Whilst we want Halloween to be a memorable evening, we want it to be unforgettable for the right reasons and are warning consumers of the dangers of buying costume lenses without a prescription.

“Contact lenses are medical devices and should only be purchased with an optician prescription. In fact, it’s illegal to buy contact lenses without one.

“Even if you don’t require vision correction, you still need to visit an optician to ensure that contact lenses are suitable for your eyes.

“We recommend that before buying your contact lenses, you visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up regardless of whether you are buying cosmetic lenses with or without powers.”

Potential dangers of wearing contact lenses from non-optical establishments include corneal infection, scratches on the cornea, conjunctivitis, and reduced vision.

The following list details how to look after your eyes when wearing novelty-themed contacts:


  • Before buying your contact lenses you should visit your eye care practitioner for a check-up. Even if you have good eyesight, you will still need to visit an optician to ensure that contact lenses are suitable for your eyes. If suitable, you will obtain a prescription with the lens dimensions to help you buy a properly fitting lens. 
  • Buy the lenses from an eye care professional or vendor that requires a prescription. It is advisable that you avoid buying lenses from untrustworthy retailers as they might not abide by the same safety standards and regulations as a reputable contact lens retailer. Reputable brands will only stock lenses from manufacturers that adhere to rigorous quality and safety regulations. 
  • Always put your lenses in before applying your Halloween makeup and take them out before you remove your makeup. 
  • Do not share your lenses with anyone.  By sharing, you increase the possibility of spreading eye conditions and corneal infections.
  • Follow the directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses (do not use water). Do not overuse your lenses. If it is a single-use lens, then only wear it for the day and do not exceed the recommended wearing time. If in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Do not sleep with your cosmetic lenses in. The lenses will become misaligned, irritate your eyes and in a worst-case scenario, permanently damage your eyes.
  • If you suffer from any pain, redness, discomfort, itching, swelling or irritation then remove your lenses immediately. Consult an optician or visit A&E in a hospital that has an eye department and get your eyes treated as soon as possible.