With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to be aware of certain hazards to your eyes that could put a damper on the fun and games.
A popular costume prop as of late has been special effect contact lenses and this is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against the law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar plastics or even toxic coloring elements to color the lenses. Additionally, use of lenses without proper instruction and adhering to proper hygiene, can cause critical eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
For those who do decide to wear decorative contacts, it is necessary to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the contacts. The eye doctor will also give vital guidance on proper hygiene of contacts.
Failure to take proper precautions in wearing and storing contact lenses can cause painful infections, soreness, or more dangerous eye scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and nothing should be placed in them without careful instruction from a professional eye care expert.
Only purchase contact lenses from an authorized distributor that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must conform to health regulations and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, flea markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated products made with unapproved materials. To find out whether the store is authorized to sell lenses request 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, consult with your trusted eye care professional before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be aware of the hazards uneducated contact use can be to your eyes.