Fancy-dress contact lenses can lead to blindness

Using special effect contact lenses is becoming increasingly more common with every passing Halloween, but do we know the potential dangers associated with using them? Many of us wouldn’t think twice about using lenses which we sourced online to perfect our fancy dress costume, but recent reports suggest we should be a lot more careful in this regard.

Experts in the field have warned us that zero powered lenses, favoured by costume and fancy dress shops, can cause eye infections and, in some cases, lead to blindness. If your lenses aren’t prescription, then Halloween revellers are advised to steer clear.

21-year-old Carrie-Anne Balloch has experienced first-hand the devastating effects of using these lenses, saying: “As soon as I put them in I felt like my eyes were being scraped. I didn’t know that what I was feeling was my eyes being damaged.”

In an attempt to educate the public of the potential dangers, Loveleen Browes, a South-West Wales contact lens practitioner appeared on X-Ray, a British consumer rights programme, this week and said: “We are seeing in practice an increasing number of eye care presentations where members of the public are not aware of the dangers of using these lenses without following proper advice.”

Is it really worth the risk?