Posted on October 15th, 2012 in Blog, Contact Lenses | 2 Comments »

What is cooler than having your eyes look like a cat or goblin on Halloween? Not much to a kid on Halloween. But, I’ll tell you what isn’t cool: getting eye infections from your costume. Even though decorative contacts are meant to be all fun and games, improper usage and wear could result in infections and blindness.

Sometimes fashion contact lens websites will attest to being “Non-Prescription Contacts.”  Here is an eye-industry exclusive secret: you still need to see a doctor for non-prescription contacts.  After doing some research, I found a few websites that claimed to make their contacts “according to FDA standards”. This very well may be true, but just because the contacts are made correctly does not mean you can legally purchase them and wear them. FDA approved contacts do not replace the need for an exam by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist.

The FDA regulates contact lenses for a reason: the risks involved can be permanent and severe. Scratches from bas contact lenses can permanently damage your cornea by leaving scratches. Continuing to wear contacts on scratched corneas will lead to infection, and further decreased vision and blindness. (When looking for pictures to post with this blog,  I was so repulsed by all of the infections that I couldn’t bring myself to inflict them on my readers!)

So how will an optometrist help? After giving a Contact Lens Fit exam, you will be fitted for contacts that are the correct shape and material for your eyes. After a week or so, you will return to the OD to ensure everything is alright. Then, your doc will sign off on your prescription, which is good for 1 year.

If you or your child wants to wear the fashion contacts for Halloween, visit Dr Tavel or one of his board-certified associates. Don’t let your contacts ruin your Halloween, or your eyes!

 



2 responses to “Reasonable Regulations: Halloween Contact Lenses”

  1. Amy says:

    I had no idea it was illegal to buy costume contact lenses without a prescription! How do costume shops and places like that get away with selling them?

    • Ellen Horn says:

      A 2005 Federal Law has made it illegal to market decorative contacts as over-the-counter products. There is no such thing as a “one-size fits all” contact lens. Even though, these are “non-prescription contacts” they are still a medical device that is inserted into the eye.

Leave a Reply