Color Contact Lenses Could Cause Cornea Ulcers, Other Horrors

Illustration for article titled Color Contact Lenses Could Cause Cornea Ulcers, Other Horrors

Just a heads up, but if you were planning the perfect lizard/cat-person costume this year for Halloween, you might want to consider forgoing the hyper-creepy vertical-slit pupil contact lenses that will really put your getup over the edge. It’s just not worth it because (spoiler alert) you could scratch your cornea or blind yourself. Like, forever. Then you’d have to go to your neighbor’s Halloween party in a last-minute Teiresias costume.


A suitably alarmist report from CBS about the danger of color contact lenses has put Halloween costumers on notice that it’s probably a bad idea to put in a pair of decorative lenses without first consulting with an eye care professional. Putting contact lenses in for purely aesthetic reasons without thinking carefully about how they fit over one’s eyeball can lead to a whole host of cringe-worthy medical issues, chief among them a gross cornea ulcer, which looks like pink-eye only more ulcer-y (also, incorrectly-fitted contact lenses can cause pink eye).

From the report:

Part of the risk is that people often don't go to the ophthalmologist or optometrist to make sure that the contacts fit properly. Improper fit can lead to scratches on the cornea, which is the clear dome of tissue above the colored iris portion of the eye. People can also get an ulcer on the cornea, known as a corneal infection. There's also the risk of getting conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and having decreased vision. It some cases, these problems could lead to blindness.

And the health risks could occur with only one wearing.

"Wearing it for a couple seconds could cause damage," Dr. Edward Kondrot, an ophthalmologist and the founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center in Dade City, Fla., said to "If its poorly fit, you could develop a scratch on the cornea, and it becomes an open wound."

All of this sounds like the beginning of a terrible Halloween adventure. The best bet is probably to just forgo color contact lenses altogether. I mean, if you don’t need lenses, why tempt the Halloween spirits to teach you a valuable lesson about appreciating your perfect vision? You could have been a fighter pilot, but instead you’re lacerating your eyes with color contacts and it has aroused the fury of the Halloween god of taking your natural gifts for granted (who really wanted to be a fighter pilot too, but, sadly, failed his vision test).

[CBS News]

Image via AP, Thomas Kienzle


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