“Halloween fancy dress contact lenses could cause blindness warns experts” – Mirror, 27 October 2014

The papers have been BOO-ming (excuse the pun) with stories about coloured lenses that could leave you blind – sounds scary (sorry). We’re here to set the story straight so read on for all that facts on buying, using and cleaning your novelty lenses to avoid giving friends a fright for sore eyes this Halloween (I’m not even sorry for that one).

Where to buy them:

You may be putting your eyes at risk by using lenses if they have been bought from a non-reputable source. By law they can only be sold with the professional guidance of an optometrist, doctor or contact lens optician.

This is my first time wearing contacts:

Fancy dress lenses are often purchased by non-regular contact wearers who may not know how to handle and care for them safely. It is absolutely vital that people are able to remove and insert their contact lenses safely and have been instructed on how to do so by an optometrist. Even though they do not have any optical prescription in them, as they are actually touching your eyes it is important to wear and care for them properly.

General hygiene:

People should not share contact lenses among friends as even quickly trying them on can lead to eye infections.

Anyone wearing contact lenses of any sort, including novelty lenses, must make sure they clean them thoroughly after use and disinfect them with the recommended contact lens solution. Never use tap water, the wrong solution, or lick them (we hope you don’t ever do this) – and if they drop on the floor please don’t simply pop them back in.

Risks involved:

Driving with novelty lenses at night (even if you wear glasses over the top) is also a potential danger: if the lenses are very strongly tinted or opaque they may impair your vision at night if the hole that you look through does not align with your pupil. If you experience any discomfort in your eyes during or after wearing any type of contact lenses then you should seek advice and help from an optometrist, contact lens optician or doctor.