Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you wouldn't want the fun to end in some frightening eye damage.
Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have become popular particularly with teenagers and young adults and this is causing serious concern amongst eye doctors. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party stores, however the regulations are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use subpar plastics or even toxic coloring elements to color the lenses. Additionally, using contacts without adequate fitting and care, can result in serious injury to the eyes or even vision loss.
If you do decide to use cosmetic contacts, it is essential to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and 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 essential guidance on proper hygiene of contacts.
Failure to take adequate precautions in handling lenses can lead to infections, inflammation, or more severe eye scratches or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and nothing should be applied in them without careful instruction from a professional eye care expert.
Only purchase lenses from a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also adhere to health regulations and need a prescription. Beware of websites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may carry unregulated products made with unapproved dyes. To find out if the store has a license to sell contact lenses you can find out their 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 special effect lenses, consult with your local optometrist before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.