With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to know of some dangers to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the fun and games.
Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have become a popular item for costumes especially with teenagers and young adults and this is alarming eye care professionals. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which applies to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however it is apparent that the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar plastics or even dangerous coloring elements to color the lenses. Additionally, wearing contacts without adequate fitting and treatment, can result in serious injury to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
If you do wish to use decorative lenses, it is important to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also provide vital guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.
Use of contacts without taking proper measures in handling them can cause painful infections, inflammation, or more severe corneal scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and no item should be placed in them without proper guidance from a professional eye care expert.
Never purchase contacts from any place that is not a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must conform to health regulations and require a proper prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated contacts colored with unapproved materials. To determine if the retailer is licensed to sell lenses you can ask for their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be complete without special effect contact lenses, call your local optical store before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.