Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Eye health centre

Coloured contact lenses FAQs

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks
contact lens

26th October 2015 -- People considering coloured contact lenses for Halloween are being warned of the danger they can pose to eyesight.

Although the cosmetic lenses only change the eye's colour, they can still only legally be supplied by qualified eye health professionals.

Why wear coloured contacts?

As well as taking on a scary look for Halloween with red or black, amber or glowing green eyes, the lenses are popular with fans of the TV shows Vampire Diaries and Twilight.

Contact lenses that don't correct vision, but only change eye colour are also known as plano or zero-powered lenses.

What do the rules say?

Trading standards officials say coloured contact lenses can be found on sale in fancy dress shops, online and on market stalls. However, contact lenses can only be supplied legally by qualified eye health professionals.

Anyone selling coloured contact lenses illegally can face enforcement action by the General Optical Council.

What are the risks?

The General Optical Council says any contact lenses, including cosmetic ones, need to fit properly and that the person wearing them should do so only after getting expert advice from a health professional on use, storage and cleaning.

Lenses sold illegally may not meet medical standards and adopt a 'one-size-fits-all' approach.

Unsuitable lenses increase the risk of eye infections, such as corneal ulcers, which can put vision at risk.

The Council is also warning against sharing lenses, which is another way of passing on eye infections.

Reviewed on October 26, 2015

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

mature woman
Go for the glow!
avacado on whole wheat crackers
Plenty of healthy options
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
baby eating from spoon
What to feed your baby in the first year
cold sore
How to cope with cold sores
toddler doodling
What to expect in your child's second year
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
woman using moisturizer
Treating dry skin in winter