Halloween is a time for fun, parties and dressing up but you don't want the fun to end in some scary damage to your eyes.
A popular costume accessory as of late has been decorative contact lenses and the trend is causing serious concern amongst eye care professionals. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to costume and party supply stores, however it is apparent that the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use inferior plastics or even toxic coloring elements to color the lenses. Further, wearing lenses without proper instruction and handling, can cause significant damage to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
If you do wish to wear cosmetic contacts, it is important to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the practitioner will determine the proper size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the contacts. The optometrist will also provide necessary instructions on proper handling and cleaning of the lenses.
Despite the fact that many individuals erroneously view non-prescription lenses as just another cosmetic item, uneducated use of contacts can cause significant danger to your eyes and vision. Nothing should ever be placed in the eye without consultation with a professional.
Never purchase contacts from anyone other than a licensed seller that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must be regulated and need a prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may sell homemade products tinted with unapproved tinting agents. To determine whether the retailer has a license to sell contacts you can find out their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your disguise just won't be the same without special effect contact lenses, call your trusted optometrist to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the dangers unsupervised use of contacts can be to your eyes.