Thinking about getting some cheap colored contact lenses from the drug store, beauty salon or dollar store? You might want to think again. Sure, the price is right, but federal law prohibits the sale of contact lenses (even colored lenses) without a valid prescription. Additionally, most of these stores don’t have the training or knowledge to provide instructions on how to care for your contacts.
So what’s the trade-off for saving a few bucks? Infection of the cornea due to improper care, called keratitis, is very common. And improperly fitted lenses can cause abrasions of the cornea. The abrasion can become infected and may lead to ulcers. Left untreated, ulcers can cause irreversible damage to the cornea such as scarring that permanently affects vision. Complications increase if you are a first-time contact lens wearer.
So is it worth it? Even one night of wearing these ill-fitting contacts can put you at risk. And when combined with dehydration due to alcohol, the risks are even greater. Please, save your eyesight and consult a licensed optometrist to get fitted for your colored contacts, whether for Halloween or regular use.
For more information, see this article on ABCnews.com.