Halloween is a night for fun, parties and dressing up but you wouldn't want the fun to end in some frightening damage to your eyes.
A popular costume addition in recent years has been special effect contact lenses and this is alarming eye doctors. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against the law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use inferior plastics or even toxic coloring elements to color the lenses. Additionally, wearing lenses without adequate instruction and treatment, can cause critical damage to the eyes or even blindness.
For those who do decide to use cosmetic lenses, it is necessary to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the doctor will determine the correct size, curvature and if required prescription required for the contacts. The practitioner will also provide necessary instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.
Failure to take adequate measures in handling contact lenses can lead to painful infections, soreness, or more serious corneal abrasions or sores. The eyes are very sensitive and nothing should be applied in them without proper guidance from a professional eye care expert.
Never purchase contacts from any place that is not a licensed seller that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry unregulated products tinted with unapproved tinting agents. To find out if the store is authorized to sell contact lenses request their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your costume just won't be the same without decorative lenses, call your local optometrist to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers unsupervised contact use can be to your eyes.