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Home » What's New » Halloween Eye Safety: Beware of Decorative Lenses!



With the fall comes Halloween and with that, costumes. It's important to know of certain hazards to your eyes and vision that could put a damper on the Halloween spirit.

Over the past few years, decorative contacts have been increasingly becoming a popular accessory for costumes particularly with teenagers and young adults and this is causing serious concern amongst optometrists. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the government. It is illegal for unlicensed distributors to sell contact lenses which is applicable to costume and party stores, however the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed manufacturers may use inferior materials or even dangerous coloring elements to color the lenses. Further, use of lenses without adequate instruction and treatment, can result in significant harm to the eyes such as infection, abrasion 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 comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will be able to recommend a lens that fits well and is safe for your eyes. The optometrist will also provide vital guidance on how to properly insert, remove and care for contacts.

Despite the fact that many people mistakenly perceive non-prescription contacts as just another costume item, uneducated use of lenses can cause serious harm to your eyes and eye sight. No item should ever be placed into the eye without consultation with a professional.

Never buy contacts from anyone that is not a licensed seller that you can be sure comply with all FDA regulations. Non-corrective lenses must also conform to health standards and need a prescription. Steer clear of websites, flea markets or beauty supply stores that may carry homemade products made with unapproved dyes. To find out if the retailer is licensed to sell contacts ask for their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.

If your costume just won't be the same without decorative lenses, consult with your trusted optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "frightful" night for your eyes. Be aware of the hazards uneducated contact use can be to your eyes.