Halloween is a time for getting out and getting dressed up but you wouldn't want the fun to lead to some frightening damage to your eyes.
Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have become a popular accessory for costumes especially with teenagers and young adults and this is alarming optometrists. Contact lenses are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however the laws are not adhered to. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use subpar plastics or even dangerous coloring elements to color the lenses. Additionally, using contacts without adequate instruction and handling, can result in critical eye damage or even vision loss.
For those who do wish to wear cosmetic lenses, it is necessary to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. 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 practitioner will also provide vital guidance on proper handling and cleaning of the lenses.
Despite the fact that many people incorrectly consider vanity lenses as just another cosmetic item, uneducated use of lenses can cause significant danger to your eyes and vision. Nothing should ever be applied on or near the eye without proper professional consultation.
Never buy lenses from any place that is not a licensed seller that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must adhere to health regulations and need a prescription. Beware of websites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade contacts colored with dangerous dyes. To determine if the retailer has a license to sell contact 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 the same without decorative lenses, consult with your local eye care professional before making any purchase. Don't let Halloween be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the dangers unregulated contact use can be to your eyes.