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5 Things You Should Know About Novelty Contact Lenses

Monday, December 21, 2015 @ 06:12 PM
Author: Amit Mathur


With Hallowe’en around the corner, many people tend to put on what are called ‘novelty contact lenses’ to spruce up their costumes. But before you decide to go above and beyond for your costume, these are the risks you should know about.

  1. Whether you have vision problems or not, and whether you wear contact lenses or regular glasses, you should speak with your optometrist before purchasing novelty contacts. Even just wearing these once could potentially harm your eyes, so your optometrist will be able to give you a prescription to ensure they fit your eyes exactly right. Think Cinderella and the glass slipper.

  2. Always buy your contact lenses (novelty or not) from a reputable and licensed dealer who holds Canadian credentials. If they don’t require a prescription, it’s a sign you might end up damaging your vision and permanently harming your eyes.

  3. Just because they are novelty, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of them like you would regular prescription contacts. Your optometrist will instruct you on how to clean and care of them as well as how to wear them so you don’t get an eye infection or worse, damage your vision.

  4. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t ever share your contact lenses, even the novelty ones, with anyone. It’s like sharing a toothbrush — you wouldn’t do that, would you? The same idea applies. Your contacts, just like your toothbrush, can easily spread bacteria and other problems that you just don’t want to have to deal with.

  5. And just like everything else, if it doesn’t feel right, and you have some discomfort, speak with your optometrist and let them know. Anything from red eyes, pain, swelling  can lead to more serious issues, so let your vision specialist know right away.

New Law In Canada

Novelty contact lenses aren’t just popular during hallowe’en, but all year-long. And they’re not just known as novelty lenses, but also cosmetic. They include traditional “creepy” looking lenses like white or red eyes, and other crazy things like cat eyes, all black, etc. But they also can be the contacts that simply change your iris colour. So if you have brown eyes, you can suddenly have blue or green eyes, etc. These are more commonly referred to as cosmetic contact lenses. But because these cosmetic and/or novelty lenses are considered consumer products, and not to correct vision, they can be sold anywhere, including costume shops and dollar stores. And they can be very dangerous.

Because of the dangers associated with purchasing “lenses” from a non-licensed vision-care specialist, such as corneal infections and permanent vision problems, the Canadian Government has passed new laws to govern these so-called ‘novelty’ contact lenses. These laws include having more stringent controls and regulations around safety, quality and labelling, just as regular contacts would have. However, because this is a new law, the government is allowing manufacturers enough time to be able to tweak their lenses to adapt to the new guidelines and as such, the new law won’t come into effect until July 2016. This means, you still need to be careful and speak with an optometrist if you want to wear these for this year’s hallowe’en.

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