Halloween is nearly here! Time to get the decorations out, purchase the candy, and assemble your costume. For some, the devil is in the details and colored or decorative contact lenses can give that finishing touch to their costume.
But before you rush out to buy those cool, spooky lenses from your nearby pop-up Halloween store, consider this: they are contact lenses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies all contact lenses as medical devices, and because of that, they are regulated by the FDA. Which means, quite simply, you need a prescription for them. You can’t just run out to the store to buy them.
Why You Need a Prescription for Decorative Contact Lenses
Corneal Infections. Tight Lens Syndrome. Corneal Scratches. That doesn’t scare you? How about conjunctivitis (pink eye), decreased vision, or blindness?
Unlike picking up a pair of nerdy-geek glasses that have clear lenses and don’t affect your vision in any way, contact lenses can and do. They are not a “one-size-fits-all” item — they need to be fitted to your eyes. Otherwise, the lens could be too small and result in Tight Lens Syndrome where the lens acts as a suction cup and sticks to your eye. Ouch! Or, as is the case with the “anime” lenses that make your eyes look like a cartoon character’s, the contact lens is too big, causing oxygen deprivation and may lead to infection. And of course, for people who don’t wear contact lenses normally, putting them in and taking them out wrong could cause scratches on the cornea. Those freaky-looking designs may also cause allergic reactions. All pretty scary stuff.
How to Safely Get Spooky Eyes
You can still have fun! You can still buy decorative lenses from FDA-approved distributors!
But first, you need to get examined by your eye doctor. Get a prescription for properly fitting contact lenses. And learn from your eye-care professional how to put lenses in, take them out, and clean them – just as you would if you were being fitted for vision-correcting lenses.
Be scary safely.