A HALLOWEEN party reveller thought she was going blind after a set of novelty contact lenses became glued to her eyeballs.
Sarah Richards from Henley bought a pair of £10 ‘zombie’ eyes contact lenses this time last year to attend a Halloween party.
Little did she know the shop in Stratford she purchased them from was selling the products illegally, as selling contact lenses without a medical professional present is against the law.
Those who choose to use the novelty contacts risk risk ulcers, tears to their cornea and even blindness.
The 24-year-old make-up artist learnt her lesson the hard way, after developing a severe eye infection leaving her with red, inflamed eyes.
She said: “I have never worn contact lenses before so I didn’t know how to put them in or what they should have felt like on my eyes.
“All I remember was they were made from thick plastic and felt uncomfortable straight away. After a while it settled down and I assumed everything was alright.”
But after enjoying her night out, Sarah went straight to bed, forgetting the lenses were still in her eyes.
She said: “I woke up in absolute agony. I had to physically prise my eyes apart and could only see a tiny bit of light when I finally managed to open my eyes.
“I had to scrape the lenses out, it was awful. My pupils were scratched and sore and felt raw, like they had been covered in grit.”
A terrified Sarah went straight to an NHS drop in centre where she was given eye drops and an eye bath. She had to take a week off work while the swelling went down.
Leading eye surgeon Dr David Allamby is urging government to clamp down on novelty contact lens sales after hearing Sarah’s story.
He believes they should be treated the same way as prescription lenses, with guidance on how to use them and aftercare.
Sarah said: “I know I should have taken them out, but I am sure there’s many people who go to Halloween parties, have a drink and the nif they are not used to wearing contacts would do the same as I did.
“I would say to anyone thinking about novelty contact lenses to think twice. You need to know what you are doing before you put them anywhere near your eyes.”