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October 2021 is Halloween Safety Month
Keep your eyes safe from costume contacts
Ophthalmologists advise consumers to stay away from over-the-counter non-prescription colored contacts, which can damage eyes and vision.
A recent study found that chemicals such as chlorine were present in three types of non-prescription costume contact lenses. Researchers noted that the chemicals may have come from the coloring used to tint and pattern the contact lenses. The study also found that the color imprints on the lenses created uneven surfaces that could scratch the eyes. A scratched eye could be an entry point for bacteria, which can cause infections or even blindness.
Costume contacts safety guidelines
In order to safely wear decorative contacts during Halloween or when dressing up throughout the year, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following these guidelines.
Buy approved products
Buy FDA-approved products from retailers who require a prescription. If you do not have a contact lens prescription, obtain a valid prescription from your eye care professional.
Use a current prescription
If you have 20/20 vision, a contact lens prescription allows retailers to fit the contact lens to your eye, minimizing the risk of eye infection and bacterial buildup.
Pay attention to eye infections
Any swelling, redness, excessive discharge, or pain can be a sign of eye infection. If any of these symptoms occur, see an ophthalmologist immediately. Eye infections can cause blindness if left untreated.
Regular eye exams are important
Eye exams aren’t just for correcting vision issues. They are also key in the early detection of systemic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Your eye exam is one of the most important preventative care services available to you.