The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects consumer spending to increase this year as Americans purchase Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations. The NRF adds that some of the most popular celebration plans include handing out candy, putting up decorations, and wearing costumes.
Halloween is virtually synonymous with of-the-moment costumes, complete with accessories and makeup, but that does not necessarily mean all are safe to use. That is particularly true for decorative contact lenses obtained without a valid prescription from eye doctors in North Houston. These may also be sold as colored, costume, fashion, Halloween, and theater contact lenses.
Regardless of their name, any over-the-counter contact lenses are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness, making them not only dangerous but illegal. In addition, the temporary aesthetic you are looking to create by wearing them on October 31 may pose a significant risk to your eye health.
The risks associated with these lenses are not limited to:
- Corneal disease
- Allergic reactions
- Permanent vision loss
Tips for Safe Contact Lens Wear
To minimize risk, you should never purchase, let alone wear, contact lenses unless prescribed by licensed eye doctors in North Houston. An ophthalmologist will perform a comprehensive, dilated eye exam to determine your need for prescription lenses or glasses and provide you with the correct measurements.
Here are some additional tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the safe use of contact lenses.
Obtain a prescription: All lenses should be prescribed by eye doctors in North Houston, like the ophthalmologists at Eye Physicians of North Houston, after completion of a dilated eye exam. That will allow the eye care professional to measure your eyes and check for early signs of specific eye disease, such as cataracts. The prescription should include the brand name, lens measurement, and expiration date.
Follow all directions: Your eye care professional, an optical department, and the lens manufacturer will provide detailed instructions for the appropriate use of the contact lenses. You will also be provided with directions for cleaning them and when to replace them. By following all provided instructions, you can significantly reduce the risk of infection. In addition, you should schedule regular follow-up visits.
Only buy from an authorized distributor: The FDA knows that some retailers sell decorative contact lenses, especially the closer it gets to Halloween. The best thing you can do for your eye health should you find these at a beauty supply store, boutique, flea market, novelty store, Halloween store, or other type of store, and the retailer does not require a valid prescription is to walk away.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Eye Doctors in North Houston
Using only the most advanced technologies and techniques, the board-certified ophthalmologists at Eye Physicians of North Houston provide compassionate, comprehensive patient-centered care in Houston.
Our conveniently located ophthalmology practice, open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, welcomes thousands of patient visits each year. We invite you to schedule an eye exam with one of our eye doctors in North Houston at (281) 893-1760 or by visiting our website at 1960eye.com.
“’ Colored’ and Decorative Contact Lenses: A Prescription is a Must.” U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), July 31, 2019.
Gudgel, Dan T. “Halloween Hazard: Never Buy Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, June 17, 2021.
“Halloween Safety Tips: Costumes, Candy, and Colored Contact Lenses.” U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), October 25, 2021.
Inman, Danielle. “Halloween Spending Soars as Celebrations Near Pre-Pandemic Levels.” National Retail Federation (NRF), September 22, 2021.