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


Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't end in some frightening eye damage.

A popular costume accessory as of late has been decorative contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which applies to most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however it is apparent that the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use subpar materials or even toxic coloring elements to color the contacts. Further, wearing contacts without adequate instruction and care, can result in significant injury to the eyes or even vision loss.

For those who do decide to wear special-effect lenses, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor beforehand. After a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also provide necessary guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contact lenses.

Failure to take adequate measures in handling lenses can cause painful infections, irritation, or more severe corneal scratches or sores. The eyes are a serious matter and no item should be applied in them without careful instruction from a professional eye care expert.

Only buy contacts from an authorized distributor that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated contacts colored with dangerous materials. To find out whether the retailer has a license to sell contact lenses you can ask for the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.

If your Halloween disguise just won't be complete without special effect contact lenses, call your trusted optometrist to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the hazards unsupervised use of contacts can be to your eyes.