HealthDay News — Be on the look out for eye injuries caused by decorative contact lenses this Halloween, the FDA is warning.

Patients who incorporate decorative contact lenses into their costumes often purchase the product over the counter illegally at beauty supply stores, novelty and Halloween stores, even though contacts lenses are considered a medical device and require a prescription.

Decorative contact lenses only change the color of the wearer’s eyes and do not correct vision, but one size does not fit all and may still cause damage to the eyes if not used correctly, the agency stated in a press release.

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Injuries associated with improper contact lenses use include corneal abrasions, allergic reactions, decreased vision, infection and blindness.

“It’s the way people use them improperly — without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional or without appropriate follow-up care,” Bernard Lepri, OD, said in a press release, acknowledging that the device itself is not inherently dangerous.

To avoid these types of injuries, clinicians should encourage patients who want to wear decorative lenses to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist to have their eye measured and properly fitted, and should follow the doctor’s instructions for wearing, cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses.

Patients should be advised to seek medical attention if they experience redness, pain and discharge from the eyes after wearing contact lenses, as this may signal an eye infection.

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