Halloween is a time for fun, parties and dressing up but you don't want the fun to lead to some scary damage to your eyes.
Over the past few years, decorative contacts have become popular particularly with teenagers and young adults and this is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which is applicable to costume and party supply stores, however clearly the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed manufacturers may use inferior materials or even dangerous dyes to dye the contacts. Additionally, use of contacts without adequate fitting and handling, can result in significant eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
If you do decide to use cosmetic lenses, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will determine the proper size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the lens. The practitioner will also provide necessary guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.
Use of contact lenses without taking proper measures in applying and storing them can result in painful infections, soreness, or more severe corneal scratches or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and no item should be applied in them without proper instruction from an eye care professional.
Never buy contacts from anyone other than a licensed distributor that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must conform to health regulations and require a prescription. Steer clear of websites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade products made with unapproved dyes. To find out whether the retailer has a license to sell contact lenses you can ask for the state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your Halloween costume just won't be the same without special effect contact lenses, consult with your local eye care professional before making any purchase. Don't let Halloween be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.