What starts as an impulsive buy to enhance your Halloween Costume can quickly become the cause of permanent eye damage.
Halloween is a popular time for people to use colored contact lenses to enhance their costumes. But do you know the risks that come with these lenses? Most people believe that decorative lenses do not require the same level of care or consideration as a standard contact lens because they can be purchased over-the-counter or on the Internet. This is not true.
The fact is that, it is illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription in the United States. All contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Those that sell contacts without a prescription are breaking the law. Most of the lenses found online, in beauty salons or seasonal Halloween stores are not FDA-approved.
You should never buy colored contact lenses from a retailer that does not require a prescription. Also, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” contact lens. Lenses that are not properly fitted may scratch the eye or cause blood vessels to grow into the cornea. Even if you have perfect vision, you need to get an eye exam and a prescription from an eye-care professional in order to wear any kind of contact lens
To safely wear costume contact lenses this Halloween, you should follow these guidelines:
- Get an eye exam from a licensed eye care professional.
- Obtain a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and expiration date.
- Purchase the colored contact lenses from an eye product retailer who asks for a prescription.
- Follow the contact lens care directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses.
- Never share contact lenses with another person.
- Get follow up exams with your eye care provider.
If you notice redness, swelling, excessive discharge, pain or discomfort from wearing contact lenses, remove the lenses and seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist.