With the fall comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. As a consumer, you want to be aware of some hazards to your eyes that sometimes accompany with the fun and games.
Over the past few years, decorative contact lenses have been increasingly becoming popular especially with teenagers and young adults and the trend is causing serious concern amongst eye care professionals. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is the case with most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the regulations are not adhered to. Lens manufacturers operating outside of regulations may use subpar materials or even dangerous dyes to color the contacts. Further, wearing contacts without adequate instruction and care, can result in significant eye damage or even vision loss.
If you do wish to wear decorative lenses, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with your eye care practitioner first. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the doctor will determine the proper size, curvature and if needed prescription needed for the lens. The eye doctor will also give essential guidance on proper handling and cleaning of contacts.
Failure to take appropriate measures in handling contacts can cause infections, soreness, or more serious corneal abrasions 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 contact lenses from a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must adhere to health standards and require a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, flea markets or party supply stores that may carry unregulated products tinted with unapproved dyes. To find out whether the store has a license to sell contacts request the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be the same without decorative contacts, consult with your trusted optometrist to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the hazards unsupervised use of contacts can be to your eyes.