Whether as part of your Halloween costume, for a school play, work event, or “just because,” costume contacts are a fun way to enhance to your appearance. However, as with anything involving the delicate anatomy of the eye, you should always exercise care when using them. Though their self-application makes them easy and convenient, costume colored film contacts are foreign objects that are applied directly over the surface of the eye. As such, being aware of the hygiene and safety implications of costume contacts is imperative to their proper use.
The following is a short list of do’s and don’ts for costume contacts, put together by the dedicated physicians at Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach and Irvine, California.
- Have an eye exam before using costume contacts
Having regular eye exams and check-ups should already be on your radar as an important component of maintaining good overall health. Scheduling an eye exam and consulting with a medical professional before using colored contacts can be the difference in avoiding serious and potentially irreversible damage to your eye.
- Do not attempt to use costume contacts without a prescription
Obtaining a valid prescription for the exact costume contacts that work best for you will prevent you from getting a pair that is not suited for your lens measurements or eye shape. You also want to be sure that the costume contacts you use are designed to adapt to the moisture/dryness of your eyes. For example, you would not take thyroid medication without a prescription, so why take that risk when it comes to your eyes?
- Do not purchase costume contacts from a third-party seller
Just like corrective lenses that require a prescription to correct vision problems, costume contacts are regulated by the FDA as medical devices. This means they should be exclusively purchased from a licensed professional. Though tempting, avoid buying costume lenses online, from a street vendor or beauty supply store, costume shop or Halloween store as chances are the quality of these lenses are not up to par with federal standards.
- Do not share your lenses with anyone else
Regardless if your costume lenses are prescribed as daily or extended-use contacts, and even if you have 20/20 vision and the lenses have no bearing on your eyesight, never share your pair with someone else. If your costume lenses are designed for more than one use, always keep them in a sturdy case with separate pockets filled with clean contact solution in between uses.
- Do wash your hands before applying costume contacts (and when taking them out)
In addition to all care instructions written on the packaging of your costume contacts, always be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before putting them in, and again before taking them out. Applying your lenses with clean hands prevents harmful bacteria from entering the eye and can reduce the chances of infection.
Have more questions? With two convenient locations, one in Huntington beach and another in Irvine, California, the expertly trained staff at Beach Eye Medical Group would love to meet with you to discuss using costume contacts on a more personalized level. Call us today at (714) 965- 9696 to schedule your consultation or to book a custom eye exam.