With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to know of some threats to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the holiday spirit.
Over the past few years, special effect contacts have been increasingly becoming popular especially with teenagers and young adults and this is alarming optometrists. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however it is apparent that the regulations are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use inferior materials or even dangerous dyes to dye the contacts. Further, using lenses without adequate instruction and care, can result in serious damage to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
For those who do wish to wear cosmetic contacts, it is important to make an exam appointment with your eye doctor first. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the practitioner will determine the proper size, curvature and if needed prescription needed for the contacts. The practitioner will also provide vital instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.
Although many incorrectly view decorative lenses as just another cosmetic accessory, improper use of lenses can result in significant harm to your eyes and eye sight. Nothing should ever be placed in the eye without approval from a professional.
Only purchase lenses from an authorized seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry homemade contacts tinted with unapproved dyes. To determine if the retailer is licensed to sell lenses request their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be complete without special effect contacts, call your trusted optical store to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.