With the fall comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. It's important to be aware of some hazards to your eyes that sometimes put a damper on the fun and games.
A popular costume addition in recent years has been decorative contact lenses and this is alarming eye care professionals. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party stores, however the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use inferior materials or even dangerous dyes to dye the contacts. Additionally, using contacts without adequate instruction and treatment, can cause critical damage to the eyes or even blindness.
For those who do wish to use special-effect lenses, it is essential to schedule an appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive 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 necessary guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contact lenses.
Using lenses without making sure to take appropriate measures in handling them can cause infections, soreness, or more serious corneal abrasions or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and nothing should be placed in them without careful instruction from an eye care professional.
Never purchase lenses from anyone that is not a licensed distributor that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must be regulated and require a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may sell unregulated contacts tinted with unapproved tinting agents. To determine if the retailer is authorized to sell contacts ask for the state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be the same without decorative contact lenses, contact your trusted eye care professional before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers unsupervised contact use can be to your eyes.