Eye Infections, Blindness and Other Frightening Complications of Halloween Contacts
Every year, approximately two-thirds of Americans celebrate Halloween, many of them dressing up in elaborate costumes depicting their favorite characters. While most costumes and accessories are harmless, some of them costume contact lenses, specifically can pose a serious health risk to unsuspecting consumers. The optometrists here at Drs. Kopolow and Girisgen recommend avoiding costume contacts purchased over the counter or from online retailers. Without an eye exam and optometric prescription, cosmetic lenses are not safe for use.
Companies that make and distribute costume contact lenses are already breaking the law by manufacturing and selling them, so there is little evidence to suggest the lenses are made with medical grade materials and safe dyes. Furthermore, decorative contacts can come in all shapes and sizes, which may not properly fit the wearer. The Food and Drug Administration warns that poorly fit or unclean costume lenses may cause corneal scratches, bacterial infections, conjunctivitis and vision problems, not to mention serious complications like blindness.
Trust Your Optometrist in Las Vegas, NV
It is important to remember that contact lenses are FDA regulated and only approved for use with a prescription. It is illegal for retailers to sell costume lenses, though little is done to enforce these rules. Just because a store sells costume contacts around Halloween, it does not mean the lenses are safe for use. Instead, contacts should always be fit to your eye and purchased from a licensed distributor, such as your optometrist.
The optometrists at Kopolow and Girisgen can fit you for cosmetic lenses and write a prescription for a safe, medical-grade pair. Please contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment. Of course, seek immediate treatment if you have already worn non-prescription decorative contact lenses and have since suffered complications like redness, eye pain or changes in vision.
Have you ever worn costume contacts that were not prescribed by an optometrist?