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This Halloween Watch Out for Special Effect Lenses


Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't lead to some frightening eye damage.

A popular costume prop in recent years has been special effect contact lenses and this is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is against federal law for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which applies to costume and party supply stores, however obviously the laws are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use inferior materials or even toxic coloring elements to dye the contacts. Additionally, using contacts without proper instruction and adhering to proper hygiene, can cause serious injury to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.

For those who do wish to use decorative contacts, it is important 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 instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.

Failure to take appropriate precautions in wearing and storing contact lenses can cause painful infections, soreness, or more dangerous eye abrasions or sores. Your eyes are something you should treat carefully and no item should be placed in them without careful guidance from a professional eye care expert.

Never purchase lenses from anyone other than an authorized distributor that you can guarantee comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must conform to health regulations and need a proper prescription. Beware of websites, flea markets or party supply stores that may sell homemade contacts tinted with unapproved tinting agents. To find out if the store is authorized to sell lenses 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 the same without decorative contact lenses, consult with your trusted optometrist before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of the hazards unregulated contact use can be to your eyes.