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Home » What's New » Eye Safety for Halloween: Beware of Special Effect Contacts!

Eye Safety for Halloween: Beware of Special Effect Contacts!


With the autumn comes Halloween and with that, dressing up. As a consumer, you want to know of some hazards to your eyes that could accompany with the Halloween spirit.

A popular costume prop in recent years has been decorative contact lenses and the trend is alarming eye doctors. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the government. It is illegal for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which applies to costume and party stores, however clearly the regulations are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use subpar materials or even toxic dyes to dye the lenses. Further, wearing contacts without adequate fitting and treatment, can cause critical eye damage or even blindness.

For those who do decide to use cosmetic lenses, 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 correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription required for the lens. The practitioner will also give vital instructions on proper handling and cleaning of the lenses.

While many individuals mistakenly view non-prescription contact lenses as just another beauty item, unhygienic use of lenses can cause serious danger to your eyes and vision. Nothing should ever be placed in the eye without proper professional involvement.

Only buy contact lenses from an authorized seller that you can guarantee sells products approved by the FDA. Even when purchasing lenses without corrective power, they must conform to health regulations and need a prescription. Steer clear of e-commerce sites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry unregulated contacts colored with unapproved materials. To determine whether the retailer has a license to sell contacts request their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.

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