With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to know of some threats to your eyes that could come along with the holiday spirit.
A popular costume accessory as of late has been decorative contact lenses and the trend is alarming eye care professionals. Contacts 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 the regulations are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use subpar plastics or even toxic coloring elements to color the contacts. Additionally, using lenses without proper instruction and adhering to proper hygiene, can cause significant harm to the eyes or even blindness.
If you do decide to use special-effect lenses, it is necessary 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 practitioner will also provide necessary instructions on proper hygiene of the lenses.
Failure to take proper measures in handling lenses can lead to painful infections, irritation, or more severe eye abrasions or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and no item should be applied in them without careful guidance from a professional eye care expert.
Only buy contacts from a licensed distributor that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and require a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may sell unregulated contacts colored with dangerous materials. To find out if the store is authorized to sell contact lenses find out their 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 contact lenses, consult with 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.