Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't lead to some scary damage to your eyes.
Over the past few years, special effect contacts have become popular particularly with teenagers and young adults and the trend is alarming optometrists. Contacts are an FDA regulated medical device. It is against the law to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however obviously the regulations are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use inferior plastics or even dangerous coloring elements to dye the lenses. Additionally, use of contacts without adequate fitting and adhering to proper hygiene, can cause critical damage to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
If you do wish to wear cosmetic lenses, it is necessary to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the doctor will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The eye doctor will also give necessary guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.
Failure to take appropriate precautions in handling lenses can lead to painful infections, inflammation, or more dangerous eye scratches or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and nothing should be applied in them without careful instruction from an eye care professional.
Never purchase lenses from anyone that is not a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also conform to health standards and need a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated products made with dangerous dyes. To determine if the store has a license to sell contact lenses find out the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be the same without special effect lenses, call your trusted eye care professional before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers unsupervised contact use can be to your eyes.