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Halloween Eye Safety: Beware of Decorative Contact Lenses!

 

With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to be aware of certain dangers to your eyes that sometimes come along with the Halloween spirit.

Over the past few years, special effect contacts have been increasingly becoming a popular accessory for costumes 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 FDA. 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 clearly the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use inferior materials or even dangerous coloring elements to dye the contacts. Further, using lenses without adequate instruction and adhering to proper hygiene, can result in significant harm to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.

If you do wish to use special-effect lenses, it is essential to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also give essential guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.

Although many people erroneously view special effect contacts as just another costume accessory, uneducated use of lenses can result in serious danger to your eyes and eye sight. No item should ever be placed on or near the eye without consultation with an eye care professional.

Only purchase lenses from an authorized seller that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must conform to health regulations and require a prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated products colored with dangerous tinting agents. To determine if the retailer is licensed to sell lenses ask for their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.

If your Halloween disguise just won't be complete without decorative contact lenses, contact your local eye care professional to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.

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