With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to know of some threats to your eyes that could accompany with the Halloween spirit.
A popular costume prop in recent years 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 to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party stores, however obviously the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use inferior plastics or even dangerous dyes to color the lenses. Additionally, wearing contacts without proper fitting and care, can cause serious eye damage or even vision loss.
For those who do decide to wear decorative lenses, it is necessary to schedule an exam with your optometrist first. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the optometrist will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also give vital guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contact lenses.
While many people incorrectly perceive non-prescription contacts as just another beauty accessory, improper use of lenses can result in significant damage to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be placed into the eye without proper professional consultation.
Only purchase contacts from a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must adhere to health standards and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade contacts tinted with dangerous materials. To determine if the store is licensed to sell contacts find out the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your costume just won't be complete without decorative lenses, call your local optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.