People go to extreme efforts for unique and over-the-top costumes and looks. Special-effects contacts come in an array of different styles and are an easy way to transform yourself into a cat, alien, vampire, or monster. These lenses are becoming increasingly popular, but are these types of contacts safe to wear?

Theatrical or special-effects contacts are often made of gas-permeable plastics, with a tint that is opaque and aligns with the iris of your eye. The pupil is clear so that you are still able to see while wearing them. As with any type of contact lens, there are risks to wearing them and caution must be taken so a fun effect does not compromise your eye health.

Prescription Only!

Special-effects lenses are still considered a medical device. For that reason, you should ALWAYS have your eye care provider write you a prescription for the correct size and fit. Order from a reputable source that requires you to upload or send your prescription, so that you’ll be sure they fit right and will not damage your corneas. Avoid purchasing internationally, as the safety regulations abroad may not be as stringent as in the U.S.

Proper Care

Many types of contact lenses today are made of polymers that allow good oxygen flow, and are rated for extended wear or sleep wear. This is not the case with theatrical lenses, which should NEVER be worn during sleep. The thicker material and opaque pigments used can deprive the blood vessels in your eyes of essential oxygen. Store your special-effects lenses properly, and clean them according to your optometrist’s recommendations.

Special-effects contacts are a great way to put the finishing touches on a costume or change your appearance. Talk to your Phoenix optometrist about these special effect contact lenses first to make sure your experience with them is both safe and fun.