Are you planning on dressing up as a zombie, vampire, or alien this Halloween? If so, you might be thinking about using special-effect contact lenses. These novelty contacts contain vibrant colors and designs that change the appearance of your eyes. But, while Halloween eye contacts might be a fun addition to your costume, they can be dangerous if not obtained properly. It’s important for your eye health that you only purchase Halloween eye contacts from a reputable source with a prescription.
Keep Your Eyes Safe: It’s the Law
Did you know that selling contact lenses without a prescription is illegal in the U.S.? This law applies to special-effect contacts, as well as regular contacts, whether or not they provide any vision correction. In fact, all contact lenses are medical devices regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA restricts the distribution of contact lenses to licensed eye care professionals. Consequently, you should never purchase contact lenses from places like:
- Halloween stores and other costume shops
- Flea markets, novelty shops, and street vendors
- Beauty supply stores, salons, and boutiques
- Convenience stores and drug stores
- Unauthorized internet sellers that don’t require a prescription
Risks of Using Unsafe Contacts
The FDA regulates the sale of contact lenses in order to keep you safe. Contacts are not one-size-fits-all. Actually, an eye doctor must measure and evaluate your eyes to find the right contact lens shape and size for you. Wearing unregulated contact lenses that don’t fit properly can lead to many eye problems, such as:
- Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis and keratitis, caused by high levels of bacteria
- Scratches on the eye that cause scarring and other infections
- Permanent vision reduction
Wearing unsafe Halloween contact lenses, even only on one night, can lead to long-lasting eye health problems.
How to Find Safe Halloween Eye Contacts
If you decide to wear decorated contacts this Halloween, just make sure to obtain and wear them safely. Here are some basic guidelines for safe usage:
- First, visit your optometrist for an eye exam. Your doctor will evaluate whether contact lenses are right for you. If they are, you will be fitted and given a prescription, even if you don’t need vision correction.
- Next, purchase your decorative lenses from an authorized seller that requires your prescription.
- Finally, make sure you follow all of your optometrist’s instructions for wearing the contacts. These instructions should include how to clean, disinfect and store the lenses. You should also follow instructions for whether or not your contacts can be worn while sleeping.
- Always remember to never share contact lenses with others.
- If you experience discomfort, eye redness, or swelling, be sure to contact your eye doctor right away.
Whether you’re looking for Halloween contacts or just want to check on your eye health, the experts at Looking Glass Optical are ready to help. When you visit us, you’ll receive a comprehensive eye exam. Additionally, we can measure your eyes and evaluate which contact lenses are right for you. Then, with your prescription in hand, you’ll be ready to safely obtain Halloween eye contacts to complete your costume.