Dangers with decorative contacts for Halloween
Most people like their Halloween costumes to be as accurate as possible, but changing your eye color to match it is potentially more dangerous that most aspects of costuming.
Dressing up for Halloween one of the most fun parts of October 31st festivities, but if your costume involves a change in eye color, you may be to be aware of potential dangers of decorative contact lenses.
FDA warns against purchasing contact lenses over the counter or as cosmetics, as they are a regulated medical device, which means it is against the law to sell them in this manner.
Bill Holec, Optometrist with Tucker-Kudrna–Holec-Young Eye Care Centre, says, “Contacts that aren’t prescribed to you, sometimes have issues with the quality that they are manufactured because a lot of them are manufactured overseas and there is some sterility issues.”
Contact lenses are not “one size fits all”. An eye doctor must measure your eye to properly fit the lens in your eye. Poor contact lens fitting, or unsterile products can cause serious damage, including infections, blindness and worst case scenario- the loss of an eye.
Holec says, “There is also the fit of the contact because it is sitting directly on the cornea can cause some problems, specifically cases of some really severe infections.”
Holec warns against purchasing prescription contact lenses over the Internet, saying, “What happens is they are contacting online vendors, reading their prescription off their box and then they are getting sent one with a close to parameters, but they are not verifying the prescription with the eye care provider, and that is where the American Optometrist Association/American Medical Association, they are not necessarily meeting the same standards and therefore they are not safe to be driving with, things like that because your vision is not corrected properly.”
If you are in market for colored or decorative lenses, talk to you eye care provider who can fit you properly with many options for wearable contacts that are safe.
Make sure to see your eye doctor right away if you have eye redness, eye pain that lingers, or a decrease in vision from a new product.
In addition, sellers of non-prescription lenses may give inadequate instruction of how to clean and care for contacts. Follow all guidelines for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lens. Failure to do so can lead to further eye problems.