With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. As a consumer, you want to know of certain dangers to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the fun and games.
A popular costume prop as of late has been special effect contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst eye doctors. Contacts are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however it is apparent that the regulations are not adhered to. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar plastics or even toxic coloring elements to dye the lenses. Further, using lenses without adequate instruction and treatment, can result in significant injury to the eyes or even vision loss.
For those who do decide to wear cosmetic lenses, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with your optometrist first. After a comprehensive eye exam, the practitioner will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also provide necessary guidance on proper handling and cleaning of the lenses.
Wearing contacts without making sure to take adequate measures in handling them can lead to painful infections, inflammation, or more severe eye scratches or ulcers. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and nothing should be put in them without careful instruction from an eye care professional.
Only purchase lenses from a licensed distributor that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also conform to health standards and need a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, flea markets or party supply stores that may carry homemade contacts made with unapproved materials. To find out whether the retailer is licensed 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 complete without special effect contacts, call your local optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the dangers uneducated contact use can be to your eyes.