With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. It's important to be aware of some threats to your eyes that sometimes accompany with the holiday spirit.
A popular costume prop as of late has been decorative contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst eye care professionals. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to costume and party stores, however clearly the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use inferior materials or even dangerous dyes to dye the lenses. Additionally, using contacts without adequate instruction and treatment, can cause serious damage to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
For those who do wish to use decorative lenses, it is necessary to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the practitioner will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The eye doctor will also provide vital instructions on proper handling and cleaning of contact lenses.
Although many individuals mistakenly view vanity contacts as just another cosmetic accessory, uneducated use of contacts can cause serious damage to your eyes and eye sight. Nothing should ever be put into the eye without consultation with an eye care professional.
Only purchase contacts from a licensed distributor that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also adhere to health regulations and require a prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may sell homemade contacts colored with unapproved materials. To find out whether the store has a license to sell contacts you can ask for the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your costume just won't be the same without special effect lenses, consult with your trusted optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.