Colored Contact Lenses for Halloween Bad Idea Warns FDA

health, FDA, colored contact lenses, halloween

Dreaming of a scary Halloween? Millions of people are hitting the Halloween stores this weekend in anticipation of gathering supplies to become the Walking Dead zombie, the freakishly sexy vampire or even a ravishing wolf. The FDA is issuing a warning when it comes to developing the perfect costume; those colored contact lenses added to the list may just leave a consumer blind. A warning intended to spare thousands from purchasing a bad idea.

What is so Wrong With Colored Contact Lenses?

Health alert: Corneal edema  is a dangerous side effect
Health alert: Corneal edema is a dangerous side effect

From celebrities to neighbors, zombie is in and many are looking forward to adding a fear factor of creepy, contact lenses. Homeland Security executive (say what? They really have a take on this… proceeding) James Dinkins advises that purchasing colored contact lenses at a Halloween store, drug store or another retail outlet is not only a bad idea, but illegal. Unless an ophthalmologist writes out a script, a happy Halloween participant may be breaking some laws by purchasing those cheap red contact lenses at the store.

FDA director, John Roth agreed with their sister agency (or would that be big brother agency?) advising their greatest concern is consumers may not know the dangers that come with counterfeit lenses. A warning, the FDA wants to make clear. To many degrees, the FDA may just be on target with this. Colored contact lenses not prescribed can pose some serious risks to those who nix side-effects for main effects. Here is a list of why colored contact lenses may just be a bad idea:

  • Consumers may not be aware of the possible allergens contained in the lenses, leading to a severe allergic reaction in the eyes.
  • Wearing the contact lenses for an evening may result in corneal edema, yes folks, swelling of the eyeball. Zombie costume come to life is not the exact effect partiers may be looking for.
  • An ophthalmologist would size contact lenses for patients, this means the lenses purchased in a store may fit poorly resulting in corneal abrasion.
  • Sterility is a big factor here! Cheap colored, contact lenses made in a factory made for costumes and not the health of eyes, can lead to infections that may result in potential blindness or even more frighteningly, eye loss.

Be on the Lookout for Operation Double Vision

FDA warns non-prescribed lenses illegal.
FDA warns non-prescribed lenses illegal.

The FDA is also issuing another warning atop of the health issues- the legal issues. While retailers are more than likely to face the consequences, the federal agencies may just be watching consumers and their purchases. Involved in Operation Double Vision encompasses federal funds and agencies: Office of Criminal Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, as well as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The federal agencies are warning consumers and retailers alike regarding the illegal, decorative lenses. The ban has been in place since 2005, after a rash of incidents to consumers eyes became public. Studies on the non-prescribed colored, contact lenses were a bit alarming. Consumers can face a 16 times higher chance of developing keratitis when embracing the colored contact lenses. Keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea, resulting from an infection or other bacteria. Without proper treatment, the complications may lead to permanent vision loss.

Look for less risky alternatives
Look for less risky alternatives

Alternatives do Exist!

Consumers who enjoy the cool factor of colored contact lenses can visit an ophthalmologist. While many may scoff at the price and time, it is something that may be important when it comes to retaining the longevity of vision. One bad, purchased pair can lead down a path of pain, potential surgeries and, in extreme cases, blindness. Visit Youtube to get an idea on make-up ideas to create freaky concepts for the face that would not monopolize the vision.

The FDA issued a warning today, along with several federal agencies; colored contact lenses without a prescription is not only potentially dangerous, it is illegal. While many are willing to risk the chances and purchase them for the Halloween party, it may remain a bad idea. Consider a safer alternative such as make-up tutorials or visiting the eye doc to understand the general methods of purchase, safety and health.






Angelina Bouc

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