Consumer warning: protect your eyesight when choosing your Halloween costume

VANCOUVER, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Halloween is an exciting time as kids of all ages transform into ghosts, goblins and ghouls with eyes on tricks and treats. To help ensure a safe holiday, the College of Opticians of BC (COBC) is warning consumers of health concerns related to the use of non-corrective coloured contact lenses (cosmetic lenses), including blindness. Cosmetic contacts are lenses used to change eye colour or lenses that incorporate designs used to create an affect such as `vampire eyes`.

Says COBC Chair Kent Ashby, "We urge people to choose Halloween costumes that don't have the potential to harm their eyes. It really is a case of Halloween being fun until someone damages their eyes or loses their sight".

The use of cosmetic lenses can lead to serious eye health issues. Improper types of lenses and improper use and care can lead to significant risks including allergic reaction, infection, swelling of the cornea and blindness, even with short term use. Cosmetic lenses are sold in a variety of retail outlets and are gaining in popularity for Halloween costume use.

The COBC is recommending that consumers ensure that they consult a registered optician whenever they choose an eye product, whether it be contact lenses, eyeglasses or low vision aids. Registered opticians are trained to recommend and safely fit a range of devices to improve eyesight. An optician can also provide training on contact lens use and instruction on hygiene.

To find a registered optician in your area please visit

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


For further information: For further information: Nick Atkinson, Registrar, College of Opticians, (604) 278-7510; To visit a dispensary, contact: Lutz Sprecher, Whalley Optical Centre, Suite No. 103 - 10706 King George Hwy, Surrey, (604) 581-1055

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