With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. As a consumer, you want to be aware of certain hazards to your eyes and vision that could accompany with the Halloween spirit.
A popular costume addition as of late has been special effect contact lenses and the trend is alarming eye care professionals. Contact lenses are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which applies to costume and party stores, however the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use subpar plastics or even dangerous coloring elements to dye the lenses. Additionally, wearing contacts without adequate fitting and treatment, can result in serious harm to the eyes or even blindness.
For those who do decide to use decorative lenses, it is necessary to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will determine the correct size, curvature and if required prescription needed for the contacts. The practitioner will also give vital guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contact lenses.
Failure to take proper precautions in wearing and storing lenses can result in infections, irritation, or more serious eye scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and no item should be put in them without proper instruction from an eye care professional.
Only purchase contacts from a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also conform to health standards and need a proper prescription. Beware of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry unregulated products made with dangerous materials. To find out if the retailer is licensed to sell lenses you can find out the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your disguise just won't be the same without special effect contact lenses, contact your local optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.