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Halloween: Potentially Permanent Damage From Costume Contacts

Cosmetic contacts have gotten much more popular in recent years. Dramatic and surreal eyes can round out the perfect costume and they are bound to figure prominently in many Florida Halloween events this year. State and federal authorities, however, are warning about potential dangers: people who buy contacts without going through a required eye check-up run the risk of permanent eye injuries.

In short, doctors say that costume contacts are safe when purchased through legitimate vendors and properly fitted to individual eyes. Poorly fitted contacts, on the other hand, can be unsafe or even defective. The contacts can cause eye infections, dangerous allergic reactions, corneal damage, and even blindness or loss of an eye.

Eye doctors say that users need to know how to wear, clean and care for contacts before using them. Because costume contacts are often thicker and less flexible than regular contacts, even frequent contact users can run the risk of eye damage by wearing unfitted cosmetic lenses.

The federal Food and Drug Administration requires anyone who sells these lenses to get a prescription from the buyer and confirm it with a doctor. However, many sellers ignore this requirement and sell lenses to buyers who haven't had a required fitting with an eye doctor.

If someone suffers a serious eye injury from these contacts, there might be a claim against either the manufacturer or seller - depending on the individual circumstances. When it comes to medical devices like contact lenses, it is important to hold manufacturers accountable for unsafe products.

Source: York Daily Record, "Cosmetic contact lenses may be dangerous, often sold by unlicensed vendors," Leigh Zaleski, Oct. 25, 2012 


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