Halloween is a night for fun, parties and dressing up but you should take some precautions so it doesn't lead to some scary eye damage.
A popular costume prop as of late has been special effect contact lenses and the trend is alarming optometrists. Contacts are a governmentally regulated medical device. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which is applicable to most stores where costumes and party goods are sold, however clearly the laws are not adhered to. Lens manufacturers operating without a license may use inferior materials or even dangerous coloring elements to dye the lenses. Further, using lenses without adequate instruction and treatment, can result in critical eye damage or even vision loss.
If you do decide to wear special-effect contacts, it is important to make an exam 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 practitioner will also provide necessary guidance on proper handling and cleaning of contact lenses.
Use of contact lenses without taking adequate precautions in applying and storing them can lead to painful infections, soreness, or more serious corneal scratches or sores. Your eyes are something you should take good care of and no item should be put in them without proper guidance from a professional eye care expert.
Never purchase lenses from anyone other than a licensed distributor that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also be regulated and need a prescription. Beware of e-commerce sites, flea markets or party supply stores that may carry homemade products colored with unapproved dyes. To determine whether the store is licensed to sell contact lenses ask for 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 decorative lenses, consult with your local optical store before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of how to dress up your eyes safely.