How to Find out if Your Halloween Contact Lenses are Illegal

Spooky contact lenses can complete your Halloween costume. But beware of the dangers of illegal costume contact lenses lurking on store shelves and invading online retailers. Though the federal government works to keep illegal and harmful versions of decorative or color contact lenses off the shelves, they can still be purchased at costume shops, gas stations, corner shops and online. Here’s an easy way to tell if your lenses are counterfeit: Can you purchase them without a prescription? If the answer is yes, those creepy lenses are a danger to your vision. That's why the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Friedberg Eye Associates, P.A. are urging people to buy decorative contact lenses only from retailers who require a prescription and sell FDA-approved products.

It’s easy to forget that decorative lenses are medical devices, not costume jewelry. They must be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional, just like regular contact lenses. That's because a poorly fitted contact lens can easily scrape the cornea, the outer layer of the eye, making the eye more vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria and viruses. Research shows that people who purchase contacts without a prescription face a 16-fold increased risk of developing an infection.

To help ensure you won’t be haunted by a ghoulish and painful contact lens-related eye infection, the Academy offers the following tips:

“It’s easy to buy these inexpensive contact lenses on impulse, forgetting that they are medical devices, not costume jewelry,” said Thomas L. Steinemann, MD, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “We don’t want to ruin your Halloween, just get a prescription first and only buy FDA-approved lenses.”

To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

Photo Courtesy of @CDC 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Nation’s Ophthalmologists Issue New Advice This July 4th

This July 4th we encourage the public to leave the fireworks to the professionals and go see a public display. Too many hospital related injuries have occurred throughout the country around this time of year due to fireworks. Be smart, be safe and enjoy!

Three Things Patients Should Know About Cataracts

Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts, which causes cloudy, blurry or dim vision and often develops with advancing age. This June, Friedberg Eye Associates, PA joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in observing Cataract Awareness Month...

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

What is Conjunctivitis? Signs and symptoms may occur in one or both eyes. The most common causes of conjunctivitis are infections (viral or bacterial), allergies or irritation from something in the environment.

5 Steps to Lower Your Risk of Eye Disease

By age 65, one in three Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease. Many sight-robbing conditions can be effectively treated if detected early enough, in many cases limiting or eliminating the damage to eyesight.