For COVID testing, make an appointment at an Urgent Care or QuickCare location or visit hhs.gov.
If you have a medical emergency, visit one of our Emergency Departments.
Back to Living Better
Novelty contacts

Are novelty contacts safe?

Does your Halloween costume call for blood-red eyes? How about over-dilated pupils? It’s always fun to dress up as your favorite ghost or ghoul, but take caution if you decide to wear novelty contact lenses with your costume.

What are novelty contacts?

Novelty contacts are decorative lenses that don’t correct vision-- they simply change the appearance of the eyes.

Novelty contacts are medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and they should only be purchased from an optical store that requires a prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

“An eye doctor must measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to contact lens wear,” says Evan Loft, M.D., a cornea specialist at Piedmont’s Eye Consultants of Atlanta. “Places that advertise them as cosmetics or sell them without a prescription are breaking the law.”

Risks associated with novelty contacts

Novelty contacts must be properly purchased and cared for. A poor fit or poor contact lens hygiene can lead to serious eye damage, including:

  • Scratches on the cornea

  • Corneal infection that can lead to decreased vision or even blindness

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Safely wearing novelty contacts

If you do decide that cat eyes are a “must have” this Halloween season, Dr. Loft offers the following safety tips:

  • Have an eye exam from an ophthalmologist or optometrist to obtain a novelty lens prescription.

  • Only purchase lenses from a seller that requires a prescription.

  • Follow directions for cleaning and wearing lenses. 

  • Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any redness, discomfort or decreased vision while wearing novelty contacts.

Check out more health and wellness tips from Piedmont providers.

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

Related Stories

Schedule your appointment online

Piedmont App

Download the Piedmont Now app

  • Directions
  • Indoor Hospital Navigation
  • Find & Save Physicians
  • Online Scheduling

Download the app today!

Get the Piedmont Now on Google Play Get the Piedmont Now on iTunes App Store