Halloween is a time for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you don't want the fun to end in some scary damage to your eyes.
A popular costume addition as of late has been special effect contact lenses and the trend is causing serious concern amongst eye doctors. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses 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 toxic coloring elements to color the contacts. Additionally, using contacts without proper fitting and treatment, can cause critical eye injury or even blindness.
If you do wish to wear decorative contacts, it is important to schedule an 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 contact lenses.
Wearing contact lenses without making sure to take proper precautions in applying and storing them can result in infections, inflammation, or more severe corneal abrasions or sores. The eyes are very sensitive and no item should be placed in them without careful instruction from a professional eye care expert.
Only purchase contacts from an authorized distributor that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and require a proper prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade contacts made with dangerous materials. To determine if the retailer has a license to sell contact lenses find out the 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 contacts, contact your local eye care professional to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.