Halloween Contact Lenses in Connecticut

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Contact Lenses in Connecticut

“As a an ophthalmologist who is also a corneal specialist, I am a bit cautious when it comes to using unprescribed decorative contact lenses as part of a Halloween costume,” stated Fairfield County Connecticut Ophthalmologist Leslie Doctor, M.D. “It can be a real fun time when people turn their eyes from blue to some far out appearance or ghoulish look by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses that may enhance holiday fun, but this can also lead to serious vision-threatening problems,” Dr. Doctor remarked. According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. “Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic lenses.”

Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative, noncorrosive lenses-sometimes called Plano-or zero-powered lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops.

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer.

In 2005, a federal law was passed that classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye-care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.
The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality. If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including decorative contacts please schedule an appointment at Doctor & Associates by calling 203-227-4113, visiting Doctor & Associates or facebook.com/doctorandassociates.