The Opticians Council of Canada (OCC) is urging consumers to heed warnings when considering cosmetic contact lenses (non-corrective coloured lenses) for their Halloween costumes. Cosmetic lenses are sold as costume accessories at some retail outlets and online, and are used to change eye colour or to create an effect such as ‘vampire’ or ‘cat’ eyes. While cosmetic lenses are readily available, critical information about how to use and care for these devices is not provided by unregulated sellers.

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Improper lenses can lead to allergic reaction, infection, swelling of the cornea, and even blindness. Severe eye infections have been reported in as little as 24 hours, and some of this damage can be difficult to treat or repair. Eye infections such as keratitis can quickly become serious and cause loss of vision if left untreated.

The OCC recommends consulting a Licensed Optician to help you make the right decision on a product that won’t hurt your vision. Cosmetic lenses require the same hygiene and care as prescription contact lenses. A Licensed Optician can also provide training on contact lens use and instruction on hygiene.



Licensed Opticians are regulated eye health care professionals who ensure that you receive the essential care and education necessary when choosing contact lenses, eyeglasses or low vision aids. They are trained to recommend and safely fit a full range of devices that help improve eyesight and take into account your lifestyle, environment, and aesthetics.

Professionals in the movie and television industry work with these devices regularly, and they must ensure the safety of their actors. “Contour Contact Lens has been the premier supplier of custom tinted contact lenses to ‘Hollywood of the North’ for over 20 years,” says owner Marcine Peter. “We are proud to have been involved in TV series such as ‘X-Files’ and ‘Supernatural’ and feature films such as ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ and ‘The Twilight Saga’. We safeguard the vision and eye health of the actors on set by monitoring the lens fit and ensuring that proper safety measures are followed. Every pair of contact lenses is professionally fitted by one of our licensed lens technicians and the wear of the lenses is monitored to ensure not only the short term, but also the long term ocular health.”

In December 2012, the federal government amended the Food and Drug Act to re-classify cosmetic contact lenses as class II medical devices – the same classification as prescription contact lenses. The Government of Canada felt this amendment was necessary to protect the public from purchasing unregulated medical devices without the support of an eye health care professional.

To find out more about Licensed Opticians, or to find one in your area, go to

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