The experts do not want you wearing these.
With Halloween unfortunately behind us, we’ll soon have to start returning bits of our costume (or costumes if you’re Kylie Jenner) back to our closet and makeup bag. You can certainly make use of some of your bold beauty choices for year-round wear, but you may want to think twice before incorporating one popular costume element. Colored contacts might seem like an easy way to add a pop of color to your beauty routine, but one 11-year-old has shared how they caused her to experience temporary vision loss.
Emilie Turcotte, a student from Quebec, wore colored contacts with her recent Halloween costume, Yahoo explains. She reportedly wore them for a few hours during the day and later during an evening of trick-or-treating.
After removing the contacts before she went to bed, Emilie woke up the next morning feeling discomfort in her eye. According to her mom, the 11-year-old said her eyes “were burning like fire,” Yahoo reports. Her mom Julie also explained how Emilie had experienced temporary vision loss.
“For four days we were so scared,” Julie said. “She could not see anything.” Julie made an appointment with a doctor, and they confirmed that the contacts had irritated her corneas, Yahooreported. Emilie’s eyes have gradually gotten better.
As eye doctors previously explained to Allure, colored contacts should only be worn with a prescription. As Andrea Thau, past president of the American Optometric Association explained, wearing contacts that haven’t been approved by a doctor can come with serious side effects. “When not used as directed, the consequences may be dire,” she told Allure. “Purchasing decorative contact lenses without a prescription from a questionable source can result in corneal ulcers, infections, allergic reactions, or other dangerous conditions that can lead to irreversible vision loss.”
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has also spoken out against casual colored lens use, writing, “Non-prescription costume contacts can cut, scratch and infect your eye if they don’t fit exactly right. Mis-sized lenses can cause corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers and potentially blinding painful bacterial infections like keratitis. Costume or theatrical contact lenses also might let less oxygen through to the eye, because the paints and pigments used to add color make the lenses thicker and less breathable.”
The organization also warns that fixing the damage caused by colored contact isn’t always easy. In some cases, you may need surgery or experience permanent vision damage. While the AAO notes that any contacts can potentially cause side-effects, those dangers are much less likely when you work with a doctor.