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Have Halloween Safe Eyes: Decorative Contact Lenses Can Harm Your Eyes


Halloween is a night for fun, parties and dressing up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't end in some scary eye damage.

Over the past few years, special effect contacts have become a popular item for costumes especially with teenagers and young adults and this is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which is the case with costume and party stores, however it is apparent that the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use subpar materials or even dangerous coloring elements to color the contacts. Additionally, using lenses without adequate fitting and adhering to proper hygiene, can cause serious harm to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.

If you do wish to wear decorative lenses, it is important to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription needed for the lens. The eye doctor will also give essential guidance on proper handling and cleaning of contact lenses.

While many mistakenly perceive special effect contacts as just another beauty item, unhygienic use of lenses can result in significant danger to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be applied on or near the eye without consultation with a professional.

Only purchase contacts from a licensed seller that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and require a proper prescription. Beware of websites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may sell unregulated products colored with dangerous tinting agents. To determine if the store has a license to sell contacts request their state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.

If your costume just won't be complete without special effect contact lenses, call your local optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers unregulated use of lenses can be to your eyes.