Beware if You Are Using Special Effects Contacts

We’ve met a lot of people over the years who wear vampire red, wolf yellow, or other contacts at Twilight conventions and events. A TV station in Washington has done a story on how this practice may be risky depending where the contacts were obtained and how long you keep them in.

According to KOMO news:

“But buying cosmetic contacts over the counter without a doctor’s prescription can turn pretty-colored eyes – or an intentionally creepy new costume-look – into a dangerous and painful nightmare. Dr. Aaron Weingeist says they can cause “ulcerations, infections, and perforations of the eye.”

Morris-Hardin sighs.

“I’m lucky I’m not blind,” she said. She says her first sign of a problem was sudden agonizing pain. “Burning — intense, very intense. It made me cry, and I’m not a crier.”

Weingeist diagnosed Morris-Hardin with abrasions – tiny cuts – on her corneas. When she bought her contacts over the counter, she says no one warned her of possible injuries.

“Shocked me, I had no idea,” she said.

“It’s really a crapshoot if you buy a lens over the counter,” Weingeist said. “


  1. This news article is a little weird… I’m not exactly sure why this is newsworthy other than one woman is complaining about abrasions on the eye – which don’t happen easily. Sure this one person had an issue with her contact lenses, but did she clean them before use? Were her hands clean when she put them in and took them out? They didn’t ask ANY of those questions in that interview, maybe there’s a full version I’m missing but that’s where I would start!

    Anyone who would put something into their eye without thinking about cleanliness and hygiene shouldn’t be using contacts of any kind. This makes it out as though people who want to purchase Twilight- or other themed contact lenses should reconsider – rather I think that you should a) purchase from a reputable dealer that you can trust, b) ensure that you examine your product before use and c) sanitize them with proper contact solution and ensure that hands are clean as are any tools (cases, etc) that are used.

    I think its a good warning for little twihards that would go out and purchase something like this without parental consent, but adults should know better.

    • Twilight_News says:

      Unfortunately we’ve met a lot of people who have gotten contacts “over the counter” and who haven’t been given proper hygiene instructions with theirs. Sadly we’ve seen this affect kids and adults. So, we thought we’d put this out there when it came up today.

      Sometimes people just don’t think. They figure “it’s just temporary” or “everyone has them” and don’t think about where they are obtaining them and if they are given quality care instructions.

  2. ROFLMAO!!!

  3. Kristin says:

    i would say that the physician’s use of the word “crapshoot” to define the threat level makes him sound a little less than authoritative on the subject. Sounds like pretty good advice, though!

  4. Seeing as this is posted here on Lexicon, I would have to agree with the article and say, be super careful where you buy your cosmetic contacts. They can be purchased any number of places, and I doubt they have any industry standards in their making, therefore, it seems only natural to be cautious with such items. There could be flaws in the design, such as rough edges that could cause damage. Do not be so quick to dismiss such warnings. And physicians can use any of the same language as any one else, this doe not make them “less than authoritative”. They are simply passing on a message.

  5. When you buy quality contacts they can be very pricy. Some people try to save some money (I think it looks in the video like they were $23 or $28 or something like that) and that ends up in trouble. Your eyes are not something to be taking chances like that. It said in the article that there are some places online that you can buy them, and it’s true. They might not be under $30, but they come with your prescription. When it comes to my eyes, I want to be safe even if it means that I have to spend a little more.

  6. i had costume contacts for my rosalie costume in ’09, and there weren’t any problems. i ordered them online (through a link on a twilight site – a page/guide dedicated to twilight costumes). i went to lenscrafters for my MANDATORY prescription check-up, where one of the people showed me how to cleanly and properly handle and care for the lenses.

    i don’t know anyone who has just purchased any lenses “over the counter”.

    • Fiona Cullen says:

      I wore contacts for the premiere of Eclipse in last year, they were topaz coloured. Mine didn’t have any issues but it good that you are putting this warning out. =]:

  7. I always thought it would be cool & Smart of a contact lenses company to make contacts that are gold, red, black, etc to go w/the Twilight eye colors. I wear contacts & if a company made them (like the ones the actors wear) I would so buy myself a pair of gold contacts. That would be so cool. I had purple ones once years ago & they were so cool & fun. They really freaked people out.

  8. People need to be aware that these cosmetic contact lenses are not made to be worn for hours on end day after day. If they want ones to wear in that capacity, they must get an eye examination and have them fitted properly. I purchased a pair of cosmetic lenses from the company that sets up as a vendor at the Twilight conventions, and they specifically tell you that they are not to be worn for long periods of time. I wore mine for a few hours to a Halloween party and had no problems at all. As someone else said, you also need to make sure you know how to clean and handle them properly.

    Also, just as an FYI, it is possible to get corneal abrasions from ANY contact lens, including those fitted by an eye dr. I speak from experience. I have worn contacts for 20+ years and on 2 diff occasions i have had them. According to my eye dr, most corneal abrasions are a result of sleeping in contact lenses.

  9. Of course it’s dangerous to buy lenses over the counter, everyone should know! That’s almost like buying non-approved medicine online…. People should really pay more attention to warnings etc and have some common knowledge 😛

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