With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to be aware of certain dangers to your eyes and vision that could come along with the fun and games.
A popular costume addition in recent years has been special effect contact lenses and the trend is alarming optometrists. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is against the law to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party supply stores, however it is apparent that the laws are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating outside of regulations may use subpar materials or even toxic dyes to color the lenses. Further, use of contacts without proper fitting and treatment, can cause critical injury to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
For those who do wish to use decorative lenses, it is necessary to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the optometrist will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also give necessary guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.
Failure to take adequate precautions in wearing and storing contact lenses can cause painful infections, soreness, or more dangerous eye scratches or sores. The eyes are a serious matter and nothing should be placed in them without careful guidance from a professional eye care expert.
Never purchase contacts from any place other than a licensed distributor that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and need a prescription. Steer clear of websites, flea markets or party supply stores that may sell unregulated contacts tinted with dangerous materials. To find out whether the retailer has a license to sell contact lenses you can request the state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your Halloween costume just won't be complete without decorative contact lenses, contact your local optical store to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.