Halloween is a night for fun, parties and dressing up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't end in some scary eye damage.
A popular costume accessory in recent years has been special effect contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which applies to costume and party supply stores, however obviously the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use inferior materials or even toxic dyes to color the lenses. Additionally, use of contacts without proper fitting and handling, can cause significant eye injury or even vision loss.
For those who do wish to wear decorative 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 practitioner will also provide vital instructions on proper hygiene of contacts.
Failure to take appropriate measures in handling contact lenses can result in infections, inflammation, or more serious corneal scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and nothing should be put in them without proper instruction from a professional eye care expert.
Never buy contacts from any place that is not a licensed seller that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and need a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade contacts made with dangerous dyes. To determine whether the retailer is authorized 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 special effect contacts, call your trusted eye care professional before making any purchase. Don't let Halloween be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.