Fall brings a lot of fun, with Halloween playing a big part in that.
But did you know that some Halloween practices could harm your vision? Take Halloween contacts, for instance. Costume contacts vary widely, with everything from monster eyes to goblin eyes to cat eyes to sci-fi or glamour looks. They can be just the added touch you need for that perfect costume. However, some people do not realize that the FDA classifies contact lenses as medical devices that can alter cells of the eye and that can damage the eye if they are not fit properly.
Infection, redness, corneal ulcers, hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the eye) and permanent blindness can occur if the proper fit is not ensured. The ICE, FTC, and FDA are concerned about costume contacts from the illegal black market because they are often unsafe and unsanitary. Proper safety regulations are strictly adhered to by conventional contact lens companies to ensure that the contact lenses are sterile and packaged properly and accurately.
Health concerns arise whenever unregulated black-market contacts come into the US market and are sold at flea markets, thrift shops, beauty shops, malls, and convenience stores. These contacts are sold without a prescriber's prescription, and they are illegal in the US. There have also been reports of damage to eyes because Halloween spook houses sometimes ask employees to share the same pair of Halloween contact lenses as they dress up for their roles.
So the take home message is, have a great time at Halloween, and enjoy the flare that decorative contacts can bring to your costume, but get them from a reputable venue using a proper legal prescription. Don't gamble with your eyes for a night of Halloween fun!
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