Halloween is all about trick-or-treating for the kids, and for partygoers, finding a creative costume that ‘wows.’ Some may wear decorative contact lenses as part of their costume. However, if these lenses are bought illegally and without a prescription from your eye doctor, they could lead to serious health issues and potentially damage your eyesight permanently. The New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) recommends talking to your doctor first and obtaining a prescription before incorporating decorative contact lenses as part of your costume.
“Changing your eye color or creating the effect of being a character like a zombie, vampire, or movie character is very popular for Halloween, but every year, consumers are harmed by lenses purchased from questionable sources,” said Dr. George Veliky, optometric physician and president of the NJSOP. “Many consumers consider these lenses a fashion or costume accessory when, in reality, decorative lenses are also classified as medical devices and still pose the same potential safety and health issues as corrective contact lenses, and require a prescription.”
To stay safe but be scary this Halloween, the NJSOP offers five easy tips:
- See a doctor of optometry for an in-person, comprehensive eye examination and proper fitting and prescription for decorative contacts lenses, even if you don’t require lenses to correct your vision;
- Use cleaning solution to rub the lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight;
- Store lenses in the proper lens storage case and replace your case every three months;
- Don’t share your lenses with friends or family members;
- No matter how tired you are, do not sleep in your contacts.
See your optometrist immediately if you experience redness, pain, irritation, or blurred vision while wearing your lenses.
For more information about contact lens hygiene and safety, as well as the risks associated with decorative contact lenses, please visit http://www.contactlenssafety.org/.