Halloween is a time for fun, parties and dressing up but you wouldn't want the fun to end in some frightening eye damage.
Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have become a popular accessory for costumes particularly with teenagers and young adults and the trend is alarming optometrists. Contacts are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is against the law to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party stores, however obviously the laws are not adhered to. Lens manufacturers operating outside of regulations may use subpar plastics or even dangerous dyes to color the lenses. Additionally, using contacts without proper fitting and handling, can result in significant eye damage such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
If you do decide to wear special-effect lenses, it is essential to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the practitioner will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The eye doctor will also provide necessary instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for contact lenses.
Using contacts without making sure to take adequate measures in handling them can lead to painful infections, irritation, or more severe eye scratches or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and no item should be placed in them without careful guidance from a professional eye care expert.
Only purchase contacts from a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and need a prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may carry unregulated products tinted with dangerous dyes. To determine whether the store is authorized to sell contacts ask for their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your disguise just won't be the same without decorative contact lenses, contact your trusted optical store before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers uneducated use of lenses can be to your eyes.