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This Halloween Watch Out for Decorative Contacts


With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to know of some hazards to your eyes that could put a damper on the holiday spirit.

A popular costume addition in recent years has been decorative contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against the law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use inferior materials or even toxic dyes to dye the lenses. Further, use of contacts without adequate fitting and treatment, can cause serious eye damage such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.

For those who do decide to use special-effect contacts, it is important to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the practitioner will determine the correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription needed for the lens. The eye doctor will also give essential guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.

Despite the fact that many people incorrectly perceive non-prescription contacts as just another costume accessory, uneducated use of lenses can cause serious danger to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be placed in the eye without guidance from a professional.

Never buy lenses from any place that is not an authorized seller that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also adhere to health regulations and require a prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade products colored with dangerous dyes. To find out whether the retailer has a license to sell lenses find out the state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.

If your Halloween disguise just won't be the same without special effect contacts, contact your trusted eye care professional before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.