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This Halloween Beware of Special Effect Contacts


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 accessory as of late has been decorative contact lenses and this is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contact lenses are an FDA regulated medical device. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without a license which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however the regulations are often ignored. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use inferior plastics or even toxic dyes to color the contacts. Further, wearing lenses without proper fitting and handling, can result in serious damage to the eyes such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.

For those who do decide to use decorative contacts, it is important to make an exam appointment with your optometrist beforehand. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the optometrist will determine the proper size, curvature and if necessary prescription needed for the contacts. The practitioner will also give essential instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.

Although many people erroneously view special effect contact lenses as just another costume accessory, improper use of contacts can result in serious damage to your eyes and vision. Nothing should ever be applied into the eye without guidance from a professional.

Only buy lenses from a licensed seller that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must adhere to health standards and need a proper prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade contacts colored with dangerous dyes. To find out whether the retailer has a license to sell contacts you can find out the state license number and call the state Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) to check.

If your Halloween disguise just won't be complete without decorative contact lenses, consult with your local optometrist before making any purchase. Don't let Halloween be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the hazards unregulated use of contacts can be to your eyes.


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