Decorative Halloween contact lenses can lead to blindness - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Decorative Halloween contact lenses can lead to blindness

Source: FDA Source: FDA
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Colored and decorative contact lenses are not new, but the fad is growing in popularity thanks to movies like Black Swan and Avatar, and music videos of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

These characters make great Halloween costumes, but the addition of decorative contacts to your outfit can become even scarier when not prescribed by a doctor.

"It is pretty neat to have that effect and I do understand people wanting to have that but they are running a big risk," said Dr. Cynthia Nix of West Central Georgia Eye Care Center.

Nix says wearing lenses that have not been prescribed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist for just a few hours can affect you for a lifetime.

Just two weeks ago, Dr. Nix treated a teenager who found this out too late.  "He wanted to have a purplish color to his eye and he found these at some store over the counter and bought them." She explained just because someone is selling them does not make them legal.

News Leader Nine checked in with several costume, adult novelty, and gift shops around Columbus and could not find anyone that was selling them, but they are readily available online, and relatively cheap. 

Nix said, "They are dangerous because they are not FDA approved or regulated in any way. They are packaged incorrectly, in some type of solution we do not know exactly what it is, it could be contaminated."

These lenses are also not fit for your eye like contact lenses you get from your eye doctor, so "it can rub the surface if it is not fit correctly and you get a break down in the top layer of the cornea. That is where the bacteria can get in, like a cut in your skin."

Even if the bacteria are controlled, the scar left behind can permanently blur your vision or even blind you.

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