Fall is officially in full force. Football is on TV, pumpkin spice lattes are back in high-demand, and Halloween decorations can be found in every store. As the leaves start falling from the trees and the temperature starts dropping, people are preparing for the spookiest day of the year: October 31.
But as tempting as it can be to buy the perfect accessories that help you win the costume contest at your neighborhood Halloween party, some fashion pieces can actually be hazardous to your health. That’s right: those flashy, colored contact lenses that make your eyes look like a vampire could potentially have serious eye health detriments.
According to the American Optometric Association, unsuspecting shoppers should be wary of fashion contacts. This includes any lens that changes the look of your eye. For example, anything from a simple iris color change to a more elaborate display of your favorite team’s logo right over the pupil.
October is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month, which focuses on educating the public on the best ways to obtain, care for, and clean contact lenses. According to Prevent Blindness, approximately 46 million U.S. residents wear contacts. For all users, whether the contacts are for vision or fashion, it’s critical to maintain proper lens hygiene and to only buy lenses from your optometrist’s office or trusted stores that require a prescription.
It is important to understand how to properly use contact lenses. MyEyeDr. recommends the following tips for contact lens care:
- In order to avoid eye injuries and infections, follow instructions as outlined by your eye care professional, including washing hands before handling, replacing per the schedule prescribed and never sleeping in contacts (unless prescribed by an eye doctor).
- Proper care for the contact lens case is equally important, taking appropriate measures to clean the case with fresh solutionnot water, replacing every three months and leaving the empty case open to air dry, in order to decrease risk of contamination.
- Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection.
- And remember, never sleep in contact lenses unless prescribed by an eye doctor!
It’s important to be aware of the negative effects costume contact lenses could have on your eyes such as scratches on the cornea and various other infections. These harmful effects can develop extremely rapidlysometimes within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and appropriately treated.
The good news? There IS a safe way to purchase fashion lenses! You can receive a valid prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist and buy the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription. Good hygiene, proper contact lens care, and regular annual eye health exams are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
MyEyeDr. is a network of optometry practices that offer comprehensive eye care services, a selection of designer and value prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, and standard and specialty prescription contact lenses. By welcoming all vision insurance plans and providers, MyEyeDr. makes vision health attainable for everyone. For more information, visit www.myeyedr.com.