With the fall comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. It's important to know of some hazards to your eyes and vision that sometimes accompany with the holiday spirit.
Over the past few years, special effect contacts have been increasingly becoming popular especially with teenagers and young adults and the trend is alarming optometrists. Contacts are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is the case with costume and party stores, however obviously the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar materials or even toxic dyes to color the contacts. Further, use of contacts without adequate fitting and handling, can cause significant harm to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
If you do decide to wear cosmetic contacts, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with your eye care practitioner first. After a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will determine the proper size, curvature and if required prescription required for the contacts. The practitioner will also give vital guidance on proper hygiene of the lenses.
Despite the fact that many people mistakenly view special effect contacts as just another beauty accessory, improper use of contacts can cause serious danger to your eyes and eye sight. Nothing should ever be put on or near the eye without proper professional guidance.
Only purchase lenses from a licensed seller that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and require a proper prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, flea markets or party supply stores that may sell unregulated contacts colored with unapproved dyes. To find out if the store has a license to sell lenses find out the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween costume just won't be the same without special effect lenses, consult with your trusted optical store before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.