Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

October 30, 2013

CONSUMER ADVISORY: Be wary of decorative, cosmetic contact lenses

Thinking of taking your Halloween costume to the next level with decorative contact lenses? Think again. Cheap, cosmetic contact lenses can do serious damage to your eyes. 

Avoid buying contact lenses from the following sources, which offer virtually no instructions on how to clean or take care of lenses, and sell them for as little as $20:

  • Street vendors
  • Salons or beauty supply stores
  • Boutiques
  • Flea markets
  • Novelty stores
  • Halloween stores
  • Record or video stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Beach shops
  • Internet

Contact lenses are not "one size fits all." Each eye must be evaluated by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) to see how lenses would fit and what type of reaction wearing them may bring. A misfit can cause serious eye damage, which may take the form of:

  • Scratches on the cornea
  • Corneal infection
  • Pink eye
  • Impaired vision
  • Blindness

Instructions for how to properly obtain decorative contact lenses, as well as information about the severe damage that can result from wearing them can be found on the Food and Drug Administration's website.