With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to know of some threats to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the fun and games.
A popular costume addition as of late has been decorative contact lenses and this is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is against the law to sell contact lenses without a license which applies to costume and party stores, however it is apparent that the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar materials or even toxic dyes to color the contacts. Additionally, use of contacts without adequate instruction and handling, can cause serious damage to the eyes or even vision loss.
If you do wish to wear special-effect lenses, 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 eye doctor will also give necessary guidance on proper hygiene of contacts.
Despite the fact that many erroneously perceive decorative lenses as just another beauty accessory, uneducated use of lenses can result in serious harm to your eyes and eye sight. Nothing should ever be applied on or near the eye without proper professional consultation.
Never purchase lenses from any place other than an authorized distributor that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also adhere to health standards and require a proper prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, open markets or party supply stores that may sell unregulated products made with unapproved dyes. To determine if the store is licensed to sell contacts you can ask for their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your Halloween costume just won't be the same without decorative lenses, call your local optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.