Eye-scream – experts warn of novelty contact lens dangers in South Devon

Eye Infection
(Last Updated On: October 28, 2020)

South Devon people planning on dressing up this Halloween are being urged to void having a ‘sight-mare’ by looking after their eyes.

Specsavers Teignmouth store staff are hoping that fancy dress revellers don’t play a trick on their eyes by using costume contact lenses and make-up, and instead treat them to the care they deserve this Saturday.

Michael Todd, who is ophthalmic partner at the store, says: ‘While novelty contact lenses may seem like a perfect costume addition, they can damage eyes – especially if not handled in the right way.

‘Not knowing how to wear or care for them can also result in numerous minor eye conditions – such as red eye, infections and scratches – as well as more serious complications that can, in severe cases, lead to sight loss.

‘Halloween contact lenses have become incredibly popular over the last few years, but consumers are often not aware of the risks associated with misusing contact lenses.

‘In particular, if a wearer hasn’t had a proper consultation with an optometrist beforehand, they probably haven’t been taught how to wear or care for their lenses correctly.

‘The results can be nasty and range from mildly irritating complications, such as blurry vision and conjunctivitis, to potentially sight-threatening conditions, such as fungal infections like microbial keratitis.’

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is working to drive out the unregulated sale of coloured contact lenses across the UK to reduce the associated dangers, following a rise in the number of eye infections at this time of year .

Michael continues: ‘If you do start to notice any discomfort, irritation or pain during or after wearing Halloween contact lenses, it is important that you visit an opticians immediately.

‘Our Teignmouth practice offers eye health clinics where people can receive treatment for a range of minor eye conditions without needing to visit their GP or hospital.

‘It is also important to ensure that any spooktacular make-up is properly removed before going to sleep.

‘Leaving your eye make-up on when you go to bed – particularly eyeliner and mascara – will increase your chances of getting bacterial and oil build up around your eyes or even inflammation. Make sure that you always gently remove beauty products to reduce infection and keep your eyes clean.’

How to avoid a frightening mishap this Halloween

1. Seek guidance from your optician before using novelty contact lenses
2. Avoid purchasing inferior products online
3. Clean and store your lenses properly to avoid infection
4. Do not fall asleep in your lenses
5. Never share contact lenses with other people

For more information or to request an appointment at your local store, visit www.specsavers.co.uk.

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