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Contact lenses worn with Halloween costumes may lead to eye problems

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If your Halloween costume includes contact lenses to give your eyes the scary look of a werewolf or vampire, you may want to consider the dangers, especially if you don't get them from a doctor.

The American Optometric Association said contact lenses should be fitted by a physician. Yet 28 percent of people  who buy colored contacts for Halloween buy them illegally. We're talking from gas stations, flea markets, beauty salons and the Internet.

The doctors group said doing this is putting people at risk for bacterial infections, allergic reactions and irreversible eye sight loss.

The AOA offers the following recommendations for all contact lens wearers:

  • Wear contact lenses only if they are fitted and prescribed by an optometrist.
  • Do not purchase contact lenses from gas stations, video stores, or any other vendor not authorized by law to dispense contact lenses.
  • Never swim while wearing contact lenses. There is a risk of eye infection when contact lenses come into contact with bacteria in swimming pool water.
  • Make sure contact lenses are properly cleaned and disinfected as instructed by your eye-care professional.
  • Make sure you wash your hands before handling and cleaning your contact lenses.
  • Never swap or share contact lenses with anyone.
  • Never sleep while wearing contact lenses unless they are extended-wear lenses specifically designed for that purpose.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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