Leah Carpenter, a 17-year-old from Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, dressed up as a zombie with friends from her powder puff football team. The costume included creepy contact lenses. When Leah woke up the next morning, she realized that something seriously scary had happened.
“Her eye was really swollen and red and I asked her if she had pink eye or something,” her mother Dawn told WXYZ.com.
A trip to the opthamologist revealed the contact had ripped out the top layer of her cornea. Now, she’s partially blind in one eye and may need surgery.
“I missed out on homecoming,” Leah said to WXYZ.com. “My school work is really behind. My vision is not going to be 100 percent. I have a long road.”
Leah purchased the contact lenses from Body Jewelry & More, a booth set up at the Gibraltar Trade Center in nearby Mt. Clemens, in late September. But contact lenses are actually a medical device, and cannot be sold as a novelty item for a costume, and as Leah found out, wearing contacts not prescribed by an eye doctor can be seriously dangerous.
“I think the misconception is they don’t alter your vision they just change the way you look. They change your appearance so it’s more of a cosmetic, a fashion accessory, something to add to a costume,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Lorin Alaine told WXYZ.com. “They are a medical device and they require a prescription. To buy or sell them without a prescription is illegal.”
If you want to up the creepy factor of your costume, use makeup or other accessories, but avoid any contact lessons that haven’t been given to you or approved by your doctor. A cool costume is never worth the risk of damaging your vision!