LETTER TO EDITOR: Decorative contact lenses should be reconsidered on Halloween

Friday, October 26, 2012 | 4:29 p.m. CDT

As kids across Missouri put the final touches on their Halloween costumes, I have a word of caution for parents and teens: stay away from the over-the-counter decorative or colored contact lenses you see in stores.

Non-prescription contacts can cause serious eye infections, injuries and blindness. Unfortunately, most patients hurt by these products are unknowing teens and young adults. As an ophthalmologist, I see the types of traumatic injuries these lenses can cause, and it can be a real-life nightmare.

If you plan to wear costume contact lenses, the Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons urges you to get an eye exam and prescription from a licensed eye care professional. Claims that contact lenses are one-size-fits-all or don’t require an eye exam are false, and retailers who sell decorative contact lenses without a prescription are breaking the law.

The scary part about Halloween shouldn’t be the damage it does to your eyes.

Nelson R. Sabates, M.D., is president of the Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

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