Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Avoid Halloween Contact Lens Problems

“Birmingham Halloween celebrants should use avoid contact lens and eye health problems by remembering that contact lenses are a medical device and require proper prescription and fitting-even decorative non corrective contact lenses,” stressed Corneal Specialist Tyler Hall, M.D. Dr. Hall further explained, “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. Unfortunately each year we see the result of the Halloween participants who wish to change their eye color or make their eyes look devilish by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses. While this can be a good source of Halloween fun, it can also lead to serious vision-threatening problems.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Some websites 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, noncorrective 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.

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer.

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 call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye& Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.