With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to know of some hazards to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the fun and games.
Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have become a popular accessory for costumes especially with teenagers and young adults and this is causing serious concern amongst eye care professionals. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the government. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which applies to costume and party stores, however clearly the regulations are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use subpar materials or even dangerous dyes to color the lenses. Further, wearing lenses without adequate fitting and adhering to proper hygiene, can cause critical eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.
If you do wish to wear special-effect lenses, it is essential to make an exam appointment with your optometrist first. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the doctor will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The eye doctor will also provide vital instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.
Failure to take adequate measures in wearing and storing contact lenses can result in infections, soreness, or more severe corneal scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and nothing should be put in them without careful instruction from a professional eye care expert.
Only purchase contact lenses from an authorized distributor that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may sell homemade contacts tinted with unapproved tinting agents. To find out whether the store is licensed to sell lenses ask for their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.
If your disguise just won't be the same without decorative lenses, contact your trusted eye care professional before making any purchase. Don't let Halloween be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the dangers unsupervised contact use can be to your eyes.