Halloween is a night for getting out and getting dressed up but you wouldn't want the fun to lead to some frightening eye damage.
A popular costume accessory as of late has been special effect contact lenses and the trend is alarming optometrists. Contacts are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar plastics or even toxic dyes to color the lenses. Additionally, wearing contacts without proper instruction and handling, can cause serious eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
For those who do wish to wear cosmetic contacts, it is important to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the optometrist will determine the proper size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the contacts. The practitioner will also give essential instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for contact lenses.
Despite the fact that many individuals mistakenly view non-prescription contacts as just another cosmetic item, improper use of lenses can result in serious harm to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be applied in the eye without proper professional consultation.
Only buy lenses from a licensed distributor that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must adhere to health standards and require a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated contacts colored with unapproved materials. To determine if the store has a license to sell contact lenses you can request their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be the same without decorative lenses, contact your trusted optometrist to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.