Cosmetic contact lenses have become increasingly popular over the past few years, but one Lower Sackville, N.S. man says a night of Halloween fun has cost him two days of work, and may have done serious damage to his eyes.

Cody Duncanson has used cosmetic contact lenses in the past, but this year he says things were different. He started to feel pain shortly after removing the lenses following a Halloween party and says it became so unbearable he wound up in hospital.

“When I got to emergency they informed me that there was an oval ring of scratching, not around the colour of my eye, but the whiteness around my eye had the full circle,” says the 21-year-old.

“The immediate effect of the damage that the lens can do is usually a corneal abrasion, which can be quite painful and difficult for patients to deal with,” says ER physician, Dr. Darrell Chiasson.

Duncanson purchased the contact lenses at a store on Sackville Drive, although they are widely available online and at stores around the Maritimes.

The owner of the store says all customers are required to sign a waiver, directing them to seek the guidance of an eye-care professional.

Optometrist Erin Sheppard is disappointed cosmetic contact lenses aren’t better regulated. She says the products can be safe, if they’re fitted properly by a professional.

“Though, you really are taking some pretty significant risks with your vision, which terrifies me, and should terrify the average person too,” says Sheppard.

Duncanson says he plans to avoid cosmetic contact lenses from now on.

“It’s not worth the pain I’m going through right now … I can’t go to work, I can’t go outside because the air flowing inside my eyes is just, it’s the worst pain ever.”

Duncanson still has vision in his eyes, and is hoping for good news when he visits a specialist next week.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Bruce Frisko