Halloween and illegal Contact Lenses

Halloween is coming, if you have a fancy dress party coming up, you might consider some cosmetic contact lenses to finish off your costume. Many fancy dress sales and hire shops sell cosmetic contact lenses, without requiring a prescription. Many attempt to justify their supply by stating that because they are not correcting a defect of sight (they are plano, unpowered lenses), and contact lenses are lenses placed on the eye to correct a defect of sight, the lenses they supply cannot be contact lenses. They consider them cosmetic eye enhancements.

This loophole was closed some years ago in the UK, and a few years later in Ireland.

Every contact lens is legally classed as a medical device, and must be fitted and prescribed by a qualified legally competent person- a doctor or an optician. In Ireland, it is illegal for any one to sell contact lenses unless they are supplied to a valid contact lens prescription- if the costume shop is selling contact lenses, they are probably breaking the law.

If you purchase contact lenses from one of these establishments, it is important that you follow all of the rules that contact lens wearers should follow- if you don’t know what those rules are, how to care for the lenses (admittedly not difficult as all solutions do come with instructions, assuming you bought any) and most importantly how to get them in and out, then you should not wear them.

As I would say to everyone who is booked for a contact lens teach “You can’t damage your eyes by not getting contact lenses in, but you must be able to get them out”. Remember that if you are a non contact lens wearer, it may be rather difficult to remove those lenses after a few or more drinks at a party!

Local eyecare for all the family

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