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Home » What's New » Wearing Colored Contact Lenses This Halloween? Beware and Take Care!

Wearing Colored Contact Lenses This Halloween? Beware and Take Care!

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Countless adults, teens and even children will be wearing colored contact lenses this Halloween, but few are aware of the risks involved. Ever wondered what those cat-eye contacts are doing to your eyes? If you got them without a prescription, beware of health complications.

Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by educating yourself and others about the dangers of wearing colored contact lenses without a prescription.

Why Can Over-The-Counter Colored Contact Lenses Cause Eye Damage?

Contact lenses made to change one’s appearance go by many names: cosmetic, theatrical, Halloween, circle, decorative, colored, or costume contact lenses. While it’s illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription, authorities rarely enforce the law -- which means they’re still accessible in many places.

Many people believe that wearing non-prescription color contact lenses can cause no harm. This unfortunate myth has led to many contact lens complications. For instance, when a person feels that a contact lens is “dry”, it could be because the lens is not a good fit. Ideally, the lens should follow the contour of the eye, and stay centered, with enough lens movement to allow tear exchange beneath the lens. 

Furthermore, non-medical colored contact lenses are often produced by unlicensed manufacturers that tend to use inferior plastic and toxic materials, such as lead (often used in lens coloring), which can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. These illegal lenses may also contain high levels of bacteria from unsanitary packaging, shipping, and storage conditions.

Therefore, purchasing any kind of contact lenses without a prescription or medical oversight can result in a variety of eye complications, such as corneal abrasions, eye sores, conjunctivitis, other eye infections, vision impairment and, in rare cases, even permanent vision loss. 

Even if you have perfect vision, all contact lenses, including colored contacts, require a prescription and proper fitting by an optometrist.

Contact us at Manhattan Vision Associates and make an appointment with Dr. Kim to get properly examined for a contact lens prescription. 

The Dos and Don'ts of Colored Contact Lenses

  • DO make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist who will measure your eyes and properly fit you for contact lenses.  
  • DO get a valid prescription that includes the measurements, expiration date and the contact lens brand name.
  • DO purchase the decorative contact lenses from a reliable retailer (hint: they should demand a prescription.)
  • DO follow the contact lens hygiene directives (cleaning, inserting and removing lenses) provided by your eye doctor. 
  • DO make sure to undergo follow-up eye exams as directed by your eye care professional.
  • DON’T ever share contact lenses with anyone else.

So don’t let an eye infection get in the way of your fun this Halloween. Wearing decorative lenses without a valid prescription can result in serious harm to your eyes, which can haunt you long after October 31st.  

Get your comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting by an eye doctor in New York City at Manhattan Vision Associates.

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Manhattan Vision Associates is thrilled to announce that our office is now open! Your health is important to us, and we want you to feel confident about returning for your next in-person appointment. With that being said, we have expanded safety measures, and, in many respects your patient experience will be more comfortable, modern, and efficient than ever before.

We made a few changes to protect you and our care team. For example:

Checking in Before You Arrive: We will have a streamlined check-in process. Before you arrive, forms and co-pays can be processed remotely. Where possible, you will skip the front desk, avoid unnecessary time in the waiting room and proceed directly to the technicians’ room.

Screening at Welcome Station: Upon arrival, patients will be provided with a mask if they are not wearing one. In addition to pre-screening for COVID-19 symptoms before you arrive, you will be screened upon your arrival, and temperature will be taken.

Staff and Patient Protection: Our care team follow CDC guidelines, always have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and wear it. We have also established screening and testing protocols for our care team.

Disinfection and Cleaning: Our location is repeatedly and thoroughly sanitized throughout each day. Exam rooms are cleaned extensively between patient visits.

Visitors: For your safety, and the safety of our patients and staff, there are limitations on visitors. We will continue to follow the NYS Department of Health guidelines. Our visitor policy is available on our website.

MVA is seeing patients by appointment only (including glasses or contact lenses pick-ups). Please call (212) 688-4277 or email jflores@mvaivr.com to schedule an appointment.

We will continue to focus on delivering eyecare at the highest safety standards. We remain dedicated to serving our patients and community. From all of us at Manhattan Vision Associates, thank you for trusting us with your eyecare.

Be well, stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you soon!