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This Halloween Beware of Special Effect Contact Lenses


With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. As a consumer, you want to know of certain hazards to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the fun and games.

A popular costume addition in recent years has been special effect contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst eye care professionals. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is the case with most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed production may use subpar materials or even dangerous dyes to dye the lenses. Further, using lenses without adequate instruction and handling, can result in serious injury to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.

For those who do wish to wear decorative contacts, it is important to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the practitioner will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The eye doctor will also give essential instructions on proper handling and cleaning of contact lenses.

Despite the fact that many people mistakenly perceive decorative lenses as just another cosmetic accessory, uneducated use of contacts can result in significant harm to your eyes and eye sight. No item should ever be applied on or near the eye without approval from a professional.

Only purchase lenses from a licensed seller that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Even non-corrective lenses must conform to health standards and need a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may sell homemade products colored with dangerous materials. To find out whether the store is authorized to sell lenses request the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.

If your costume just won't be the same without special effect contact lenses, consult with your local eye care professional to discuss your options. Don't let Halloween be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers uneducated use of contacts can be to your eyes.