With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to be aware of some hazards to your eyes that could accompany with the fun and games.
A popular costume addition in recent years has been special effect contact lenses and the trend is causing serious concern amongst eye doctors. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is against the law to sell contact lenses without a license which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the regulations are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use inferior materials or even dangerous coloring elements to color the contacts. Additionally, wearing lenses without adequate instruction and care, can cause critical harm to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
If you do decide to use special-effect contacts, it is necessary to schedule an appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor 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.
While many people incorrectly perceive non-prescription lenses as just another cosmetic accessory, uneducated use of lenses can result in serious danger to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be put on or near the eye without proper professional guidance.
Never buy lenses from any place that is not an authorized distributor that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of websites, flea markets or party supply stores that may sell unregulated products tinted with dangerous tinting agents. To find out if the retailer is licensed 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 disguise just won't be the same without special effect lenses, consult with your local eye care professional to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about how to dress up your eyes safely.