Caution on Contact Lenses for Halloween

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, October 13, 2014

Caution on Contact Lenses for Halloween

Baltimore Optometrist & Contact Lens Specialist, Dr.Shari Strier offered some words of caution regarding the use of decorative contact lenses for Halloween. “Many people simply do not realize that contact lenses are a medical device. According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses 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,” explained Dr. Strier. “At Baltimore Washington Eye Center, just about this time of year, we see the result of people just wanting to have some fun with decorative contacts for Halloween. Unfortunately, we often see patients unknowingly putting themselves at risk  of scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of corneal ulcers,” further noted Dr. Strier.

There are websites that 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, non-corrective 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.

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 eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.