By Nadine Kam
Costume contact lenses look like fun to wear and can be the finishing touch for any costume, but the FDA and Florida-based Eye & Wellness Center said the evening's temporary fun could lead to long-term problems.
It is against the law to purchase or sell contact lenses without a prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. While the illegal purchase of colored-contacts occurs year-round, the amount heightens around Halloween when people want to create a unique eye-color for their costume.
The center's Dr. Edward Kondrot, an ophthalmologist and board-certified physician said, "The problem is that people are unaware that contacts that are not prescribed by an eye doctor are likely to cause damaging effects on your eyes.
“Poor quality plastic releases bisphenol-A and phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors and they can interfere with sexual development. These lenses can lead to cuts, sores, corneal abrasions, ulcers and possibly blindness.”
Here are a few health risks that can occur from over-the-counter contacts:
>> Dyes: Unusual colors in the contacts can be toxic to your eyes, causing serious, sometimes irreversible damage.
>> Poor fit: Contact lenses that don’t fit correctly can lead to a lack of moisture in your eyes and cause ulcerations.
>> Lack of sanitation: Over-the-counter lenses are illegal and not regulated by the FDA. Your risk of contracting a bacterial infection increases with poorly manufactured contacts.