Halloween is a night for getting out and getting dressed up but you don't want the fun to lead to some scary eye damage.
A popular costume accessory in recent years has been decorative contact lenses and the trend is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contacts are an FDA regulated medical device. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party stores, however the laws are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use subpar plastics or even toxic dyes to dye the lenses. Additionally, use of contacts without proper instruction and treatment, can cause serious eye damage such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
For those who do wish to use special-effect lenses, it is necessary to make an exam appointment with your eye doctor beforehand. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the proper size, curvature and if needed prescription needed for the contacts. The eye doctor will also provide necessary guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.
Failure to take adequate precautions in handling contacts can cause infections, soreness, or more severe corneal abrasions or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and no item should be put in them without careful instruction from a professional eye care expert.
Only buy contacts from an authorized seller that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must adhere to health regulations and require a prescription. Steer clear of websites, flea markets or party supply stores that may sell homemade contacts tinted with dangerous materials. To find out if the store has a license to sell lenses request their 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 lenses, contact your trusted optometrist to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.