Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't end in some frightening eye damage.
A popular costume accessory in recent years has been decorative contact lenses and the trend is alarming eye care professionals. Contacts are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is illegal for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar plastics or even dangerous dyes to dye the contacts. Further, use of lenses without proper instruction and handling, can cause serious eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
If you do decide to use decorative contacts, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor first. After a comprehensive eye exam, the practitioner will determine the correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the lens. The optometrist will also give essential guidance on proper handling and cleaning of contacts.
Despite the fact that many people incorrectly view special effect contacts as just another beauty item, improper use of lenses can result in significant damage to your eyes and eye sight. No item should ever be applied on or near the eye without proper professional consultation.
Only purchase lenses from an authorized distributor that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must be regulated and require a prescription. Beware of websites, flea markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated products colored with unapproved tinting agents. To find out if the store has a license to sell lenses find out the state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your costume just won't be the same without decorative contacts, contact your trusted optical store to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.