It's Halloween season, and adding colored contact lenses or costume lenses to your costume this year may be the way to add that higher level of fright your looking for. If you are not a contact lens wearer, you probably do know a friend or relative that will possibly wear these lenses for Halloween or they may wear contacts on a daily basis to change their eye color.
The misuse of contacts or buying them from unauthorized sellers can lead to serious ramifications such as irritation, infection and/or scarring (which can decrease your vision permanently!).
The following are a few tips to ensure your contacts lenses do no harm to you or your loved ones:
- Schedule a fitting with your optometrist.
During an Exam your optometrist can properly evaluate that the contacts are fitting correctly and safely. Your optometrist will get well acquainted with your eyes and can determine any issue that may occur thru contact lens use, some even before the problem occurs, saving you a return trip with an angry eye needing treatment.
-When ordering contacts, use a reputable source, your doctors office is a great one!
Contacts sold in costume shops or flea markets may be of questionable quality and materials that can irritate the ocular surface. Online dealers who do not require a doctors certification of a prescription for the contacts is also not recommended, as that is the number one quality check a reputable dealer will make.
-Don't swap or borrow lenses from others!
While there contacts may have been prescribed, they were fit on their eyes not yours. It is always required that your eyes are view by an optometrist with the lenses on before use.
-Costume lenses for the most part are not designed with long term in mind.
Using costume lenses for longer then an event or day is not recommended. However there are many colored contact lens brands that are designed for daily wear, ask your optometrist about these if you desire to change your eye color for months at a time!
-Clean your lenses properly. Just like regular contacts lenses that people use to correct vision, putting them on with unwashed hands, leaving them in overnight, or storing them improperly can greatly increase your risk of a serious infection! Talk with your optometrist about step you can take to clean your lenses correctly.
Keeping these tips in mind we know you will have the best costume at your Halloween event and healthy eyes/vision after the costume contest is won! Happy Halloween!!
Domenico Rinaldi, OD
Dr. Rinaldi received a BA in Biology from Whittier College and went on to receive a doctorate in Optometry from the Southern California College of Optometry. Dr. Rinaldi completed his rotations at Ocular disease intense sites, including several Local Veteran Hospitals (LA ambulatory and Long beach VAs), and has worked with Ophthalmology co-managements helping to diagnose Retinal detachments, Diabetic Retinopathy and Age-Related Macular Degeneration, his studies and interest are in ocular health and vision preservation. Dr. Rinaldi strives to make every patient's experience fantastic. "Patient satisfaction and education is the most important aspect of my office visits, I believe it is important that my patients understand how their eyes function and walk away feeling empowered to protect the health/clarity of their vision."