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‘Spooky’ cosmetic lenses sold at Halloween can trigger eye infections

You may think they’re a harmless prop.

However, spooky cosmetic lenses sold at Halloween can trigger corneal infections, a top eye doctor has warned.

Dr Parwez Hossain, consultant ophthalmologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, made the claim. 

He argued many people using the decorative lenses – worn by Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards in the past – were ‘largely unaware’ of the hygiene risks.

These can result in blurred vision, yellow spots and painful, red or swollen eyes – especially for those who’ve previously undergone eye surgery or experienced injury.

In costume: Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards is one of many celebrities who wear themed lenses  

His comments come after a recent rise in severe corneal infections related to overall contact lens use. 

‘We have recently seen a large rise in corneal infections related to contact lenses as a result of showering with lenses in and exposure to the elements,’ Dr Hossain said.

‘That raises grave concern for us when it comes to an occasion when cosmetic lenses are popular.’

This, he says, is partly because they often aren’t individually shaped to fit each eye.  

He added that while many online retailers have improved their practices relating to safety warnings and advice, people should still seek guidance from specialists before making a purchase.

‘It can be really easy in the moment to shrug off potential risks but we have to remind people that using contact lenses for one or two nights a year means they will be likely to be slightly blase about any ill-effects,’ he added. 

Risk: The char-topper pictured without the decorative items, which can cause  infections

Risk: The char-topper pictured without the decorative items, which can cause infections

As if that wasn’t enough, Dr Hossain also said people should also be mindful of other potential Halloween horrors.

He explained: ‘It may seem hard to believe, but staff in our eye casualty have treated patients in the past for a variety of Halloween-linked injuries, from adults and children with scratches on the cornea and blunt eye injuries from apple bobbing, to mild irritation from the contents of glow sticks.

‘We have also seen children who have caught their eyes on capes and witches brooms, as well as had night flares to the face, all of which have the potential to cause some significant and lasting damage.

‘We are certainly not telling people not to have fun and enjoy themselves, but just to consider the risks and take a bit of extra care to ensure they and their families avoid a trip to eye casualty.’


Dark chocolate could improve one’s eyesight, research suggests.

Indulging in a bar of 72 percent dark chocolate resulted in a significant improvement in two of the main markers of vision, contrast sensitivity and visual acuity, according to a study published in April.

The findings from University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio mirror previous research including a report published yesterday suggesting that dark chocolate is markedly more beneficial than milk chocolate.

Improved vision could be the next item added to a growing list of health benefits from eating dark chocolate that includes improved heart health, better brain function and enhanced mood.

The key ingredient thought to be behind the benefits is the cacao beans that are rich in flavanol, an organic compound found in fruits and vegetables that reduces inflammation.

Inflammation is responsible for many of the degenerative changes associated with various chronic conditions including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Previous studies have suggested that flavanol also improves blood flow in the brain and cardiovascular system in the short term, but little research has been done into its effects on vision.


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