Get a prescription before buying decorative contact lenses for Halloween, optometrists recommend

Many people incorporate decorative contact lenses into their Halloween costumes, and not all of them are purchased legally. They can be found on the Internet, beauty salons, convenience stores and some national retailers.  The Kentucky Optometric Association recommends that you never buy lenses from these sources.

Wearing decorative contact lenses purchased illegally and without a prescription can lead to serious health issues and potentially damage your eyesight, the association said in a news release.

The Food and Drug Administration classifies all contact lenses as medical devices, whether they correct vision or not. When considering decorative contact lenses as part of your costume, the optometrists say you should obtain a prescription from a doctor, who can also teach you how to properly care for your eyes while wearing contacts.

“Even though these are non-corrective lenses, they still pose the same potential health and safety risks as other contact lenses,” said Dr. Bill Reynolds, an optometrist in Richmond and a trustee of the American Optometric Association. “When purchased over the counter, decorative contact lenses can put people at risk for bacterial infections, allergic reactions or even significant damage to the eye’s ability to function with the potential for irreversible sight loss.”

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