Dangerous Cosmetic Contact Lenses: A Potential Halloween Horror

Dangerous Cosmetic Contact LensesThe federal government has issued a warning about the importance of obtaining a prescription for colored and decorative contact lenses – popular around the Halloween season.  And Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry and The Eye Institute are urging consumers to steer clear of the colorful knock off lenses that could cause serious vision problems.

The FDA sounded the alarm in a news release warning consumers to avoid the lenses typically sold at seasonal holiday-themed and novelty stores, street vendors and online without an examination from a licensed eye doctor or a valid prescription.  They are linked to numerous eye problems ranging from infections to conjunctivitis and impaired vision.  Salus joins the call to buy only contact lenses, which are regulated by the FDA, from a licensed eye care professional (including retailers) who requires a prescription.

Contact lens specialist, Dr. Kriti Bhagat from The Eye Institute of Salus University said, "Never buy contact lenses from a source that does not require a prescription from a doctor. Wearing lenses that don’t require a prescription can put your eye health at major risk, and can even lead to irreversible sight loss.” She stresses that contact lenses are not jewelry, but a medical device and patient education for the correct use of contact lenses is very important. “There's still time to visit an eye doctor for a consultation if you're interested in contact lenses for Halloween,” Dr. Bhagat said. “Don't put your lifelong sight at risk for one night.”

Also, check out Dr. Joel Silbert, director of The Eye Institute's Cornea & Specialty Contact Lens Service, who was recently featured in the Philly.com article, “Halloween contact lenses get the evil eye from docs, health officials.”