This Halloween Beware of Special Effect Contacts


Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you don't want the fun to end in some frightening damage to your eyes.

Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have become popular particularly with teenagers and young adults and the trend is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however it is apparent that the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar plastics or even dangerous dyes to color the contacts. Additionally, using contacts without adequate fitting and care, can cause critical eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.

For those who do wish to wear special-effect contacts, it is important to make an exam appointment with your optometrist beforehand. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the doctor will determine the proper size, curvature and if necessary prescription needed for the lens. The eye doctor will also give essential guidance on proper handling and cleaning of contacts.

Using contact lenses without making sure to take proper precautions in applying and storing them can result in infections, irritation, or more severe eye scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and nothing should be placed in them without careful guidance from an eye care professional.

Only purchase contact lenses from a licensed seller that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also adhere to health regulations and require a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry homemade contacts colored with dangerous materials. To determine whether the retailer is authorized to sell lenses ask for 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 decorative contact lenses, contact your trusted optical store to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.

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