Halloween costumes can often receive a boost of fright or an added thrill with the addition of color or cosmetic contact lenses. These contact lenses can be as simple as your ordinary soft contact lenses or they might be specially made hard or scleral contact lenses. Often Hollywood relies upon specially designed scleral lenses to add a higher degree of fear to its costumes. Unlike soft contact lenses, scleral lenses cover not just the colored portion of the eye (the iris and pupil) but they also cover the normally white portion of the eye (called the sclera). These cosmetic lenses are not as comfortable as the soft contact lenses and will rarely be worn for long periods of time. Scleral lenses are actually older than the lenses used to cover the cornea. Scleral lenses were invented long before the soft contact lenses and even before the hard contact lenses that are used today.
Many special design stores sell color or cosmetic lenses. In many states, an eye doctor must write a prescription for contact lenses of any kind. This law is designed to protect people from abusing contact lenses and harming their eyes. While color or cosmetic lenses may not have a prescription, they are still in contact with the eye and therefore present an element of danger. Contact lenses are prescribed by an eye doctor just like medication because abuse or misuse can lead to dangerous side effects and complications, such as infections, trauma, allergies, and possible even permanent loss of vision.
In fact, it is not usually the power of the contact lens that adds risk as much as it is the fit and care of the contact lens. A properly fit contact lens with good hygiene and proper contact lens care can significantly reduce the risk of serious complications.
Another option to consider is LASIK or other vision correction surgery. Studies show that long term the risk of LASIK is less than the risk of decades of contact lens wear. It is certainly worthwhile to consider a one-time procedure that would lessen the constant risk that might be present with contact lens wear.
If you choose to use color or cosmetic lenses for Halloween, consult with your eye doctor first. Your doctor might provide valuable recommendations to provide you the safest and most comfortable contact lens wearing experience. They might even have access to a wider variety of contact lenses that can further enhance your costume and make the Halloween night even more memorable.