Halloween is a time for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you don't want the fun to end in some scary eye damage.
Over the past few years, special effect contacts have been increasingly becoming a popular item for costumes especially with teenagers and young adults and this is causing serious concern amongst eye care professionals. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which applies to most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however obviously the regulations are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use subpar plastics or even dangerous dyes to dye the contacts. Additionally, wearing contacts without adequate instruction and care, can cause critical eye injury or even blindness.
For those who do wish to use decorative contacts, it is essential to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the proper size, curvature and if needed prescription needed for the lens. The practitioner will also provide necessary instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.
Failure to take adequate measures in wearing and storing contacts can cause infections, soreness, or more dangerous corneal abrasions or sores. The eyes are a serious matter and nothing should be applied in them without careful guidance from an eye care professional.
Never purchase lenses from anyone that is not an authorized seller that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must conform to health standards and need a proper prescription. Beware of websites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated products made with unapproved tinting agents. To find out whether the store is licensed to sell contact lenses you can request their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be complete without decorative lenses, consult with your trusted 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.