Industry warned of the possibility of people with concussion or other symptoms finding their eyes unexpectedly bloodshot
Halloween costume contact lenses may be scarier than you think
Contact lenses should not be used on people who are experiencing symptoms of brain trauma or are working in a hazardous environment, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) has warned.
Doctors have raised concerns about Halloween costume contact lenses after cases of people suffering eye injuries, including a woman who was left permanently blind after accidentally putting her contact lens in her eye.
The incidents came to light after a 33-year-old woman had to undergo immediate surgery following the incident, which took place on 28 November.
RCO statement on Halloween contact lenses
In an update issued on its website, the RCO described incidents of people falling unconscious and losing vision while wearing Halloween contact lenses and suggested wearing the lenses at night was not a safe choice of option.
“There are a range of options available when it comes to Halloween contact lenses and many of these can be worn at night,” the update said.
“However, the practice of wearing Halloween contact lenses at night poses serious risks which need to be considered as you go about your day.”
There have been reports of an increasing number of Halloween contact lens users falling unconscious, or losing vision, since 2016.
In the UK alone between October 2016 and October 2017 there were several eye injuries reported, which have been identified as being caused by using Halloween contact lenses.
While 90% of these injuries did not require hospital treatment, in some cases they required an optician or surgeon to help the contact lens wearer.
“The science does not point to the fact that wearing any other kind of contact lens is totally safe,” the RCO statement said.
“Falls unconscious and losing vision are recognised as significant and rare but they are quite serious enough to prompt hospitals to become involved.
“Any person concerned about their reaction to wearing these lenses should get a suitable third party specialised diagnostic eye test prior to going to buy a Halloween contact lens in order to make sure there are no side effects.”
The RCO suggested people suffering symptoms of brain trauma should avoid wearing contact lenses at night, as people with concussion could find their eyes “extremely red” with this effect.