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Halloween Eye Safety: Watch Out For Special Effect Contact Lenses!


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

Over the past few years, special effect contact lenses have been increasingly becoming a popular item for costumes especially with teenagers and young adults and the trend is alarming eye care professionals. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the FDA. It is illegal for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is the case with costume and party supply stores, however obviously the regulations are often ignored. Unlicensed manufacturers may use subpar materials or even dangerous coloring elements to dye the lenses. Additionally, wearing lenses without proper fitting and treatment, can cause serious eye damage such as infection, abrasion or even vision loss.

If you do decide to wear special-effect lenses, it is essential to make an exam appointment with a licensed eye care professional. After a contact lens evaluation and eye exam, the optometrist will determine the correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the contacts. The practitioner will also give essential guidance on proper hygiene of contact lenses.

Although many mistakenly view special effect lenses as just another beauty accessory, unhygienic use of lenses can result in serious damage to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be applied on or near the eye without guidance from a professional.

Never buy contacts from anyone that is not an authorized seller that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Even non-corrective lenses must be regulated and require a proper prescription. Beware of websites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may sell unregulated contacts tinted with dangerous materials. To find out if the store is licensed to sell lenses ask for 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 lenses, contact your trusted optical store before making any purchase. Halloween shouldn't be a "Hallowed" night for your eyes. Be knowledgable about the dangers unregulated contact use can be to your eyes.