California News

Oct 30, 2013 1:47 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Halloween hazards: A warning to costume shoppers

The California Department of Public Health has warned Halloween costume shoppers about the risks of wearing decorative contact lenses without consulting an eye doctor first. "The FDA considers the contact lens a medical device, so you need a prescription to get any type of contacts whether it's cosmetic or a prescription contact," said Dr. David Schultz, an optometrist at Urban Optics in San Luis Obispo. He said the risks of wearing non-FDA approved lenses could result in blindness, ulcers, decreased vision, scratches and itchiness or redness. "An infected abrasion can lead to a corneal ulcer. Corneal ulcers can then cause severe eye impairment - vision impairment," he explained. Dr. Schultz said the problem usually happens after the Halloween party. "Falling asleep in a lens is a recipe for disaster, with those lenses, because then you're really not getting enough oxygen to the eye," he said. For those who go all out for the monster or zombie look, doctors say be smart and be safe. "Special lenses or Halloween lenses are safe when used properly and with proper hygiene," said Dr. Schultz. Decorative lenses are easy to find online or in novelty stores, but unless the packaging is marked with FDA approval, the lenses are illegal to sell. For more information click here.

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