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Have Halloween Safe Eyes: Speak to your Eye Care Professional Before Using Decorative Contacts


With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to know of some threats to your eyes that could put a damper on the fun and games.

Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have been increasingly becoming popular particularly with teenagers and young adults and the trend is causing serious concern amongst eye doctors. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is illegal for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is the case with most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however obviously the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use subpar plastics or even dangerous coloring elements to color the contacts. Further, using contacts without proper instruction and care, can cause critical harm to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.

If you do wish to use special-effect lenses, it is necessary to schedule an exam with your optometrist first. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the proper size, curvature and if required prescription needed for the lens. The eye doctor will also provide vital guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.

Failure to take adequate measures in wearing and storing lenses can cause painful infections, irritation, or more serious eye scratches or sores. The eyes are very sensitive and nothing should be put in them without proper guidance from a professional eye care expert.

Only buy contact lenses from a licensed seller that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and require a prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may sell homemade contacts colored with unapproved materials. To find out if the retailer is licensed to sell lenses find out their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.

If your Halloween costume just won't be complete without decorative lenses, consult with your local eye care professional before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.