Halloween is a night for getting out and getting dressed up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't lead to some scary eye damage.
A popular costume addition as of late has been decorative contact lenses and the trend is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. 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. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar materials or even toxic dyes to color the lenses. Additionally, wearing lenses without proper fitting and adhering to proper hygiene, can result in significant eye damage such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
For those who do wish to wear decorative lenses, it is important to make an exam appointment with your optometrist beforehand. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the correct size, curvature and if needed prescription required for the lens. The optometrist will also provide vital guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.
Although many incorrectly view vanity contact lenses as just another cosmetic item, uneducated use of contacts can result in significant harm to your eyes and eye sight. Nothing should ever be put into the eye without proper professional involvement.
Only buy contacts from a licensed distributor that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may sell homemade contacts made with dangerous dyes. To find out if the store has a license to sell lenses find out the state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your disguise just won't be complete without special effect contacts, consult with your trusted optometrist before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the hazards uneducated use of contacts can be to your eyes.