Dr. Monica Bell
Halloween is this weekend and is the time for many to demonstrate their creativity with epic costumes. If you are one who likes to take your costume to the next level with extravagant makeup and coloured contact lenses, here are myths about coloured contact lenses debunked to keep your eyes safe and healthy this Halloween.
1. All coloured contact lenses are the same and safe for the eyes - FALSE
Contact lenses are medical devices that must be a suitable material and properly fit to your eyes. A safe contact lens material must allow an adequate amount of oxygen to the cornea (the front surface of the eye). If the cornea is deprived of an adequate amount of oxygen it results in corneal swelling, inflammation and the growth of new blood vessels into the cornea as the body attempts to reoxygenate the tissue. A contact lens that is improperly fit on the eye can either move excessively or fit too tightly. Excessive movement results in mechanical trauma to the front surface of the eye and the underside of the eyelids. A contact lens that is too tight indents into the underlying tissue and prevents the tear film from getting underneath the contact lens to supply the cornea with necessary nutrients and oxygen.
2. New to wearing contact lenses? Not to worry, it’s easy enough to put them in and pop them out! - FALSE
Proper training on contact lens insertion and removal is the crucial first step before your optometrist can prescribe you contact lenses. It can be difficult as a new wearer to be successful inserting a contact lens in your eye. Even more important is being able to remove the contact lens. Proper instruction from an eye professional provides you with the tips and tricks you need to insert and remove contact lenses safely.
Hygiene is crucial when it comes to contact lens wear. There is a risk of sight threatening infection and inflammation with contact lens over wear and improper lens cleaning and storage.
Receiving the proper contact lens training will provide you with all the information you need to know to prevent your creative costume from turning into an eye emergency horror.
3. Cosmetic contact lenses can be purchased from any supplier selling one size fits all lenses. - FALSE
Costume shops, department stores and online stores selling one size fits all contact lenses are unregulated and not safe for your eyes. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription that specifies the parameters of the contact lens that appropriately fits your eyes. Stores requiring a prescription to purchase contact lenses are regulated. Speak to your optometrist to learn more about contact lens safety and regulated contact lens suppliers.