Halloween is a time for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't end in some scary eye damage.
A popular costume addition as of late has been decorative contact lenses and this is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is against the law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the laws are not adhered to. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use subpar plastics or even toxic coloring elements to color the lenses. Further, use of contacts without proper fitting and treatment, can cause significant injury to the eyes or even blindness.
For those who do wish to use special-effect lenses, it is essential to schedule an appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrist will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The practitioner will also give necessary instructions on proper handling and cleaning of contacts.
Failure to take adequate precautions in wearing and storing contacts can lead to infections, irritation, or more serious corneal abrasions or sores. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and nothing should be put in them without proper guidance from an eye care professional.
Never purchase contacts from anyone that is not a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and need a proper prescription. Beware of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may sell homemade products tinted with dangerous tinting agents. To find out whether the retailer has a license to sell contacts you can ask for their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your costume just won't be the same without decorative contact lenses, contact your local optometrist to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.