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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 Dr. Rodolfo L. Rodriguez, O.D., P.A. and make an appointment with R. L. Rodriguez 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 North Bergen at Dr. Rodolfo L. Rodriguez, O.D., P.A..

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As the COVID-19 crisis develops, I am on-call to treat urgent, need to be seen in person patients only. Eye doctors have gotten the green light to attend to patient’s urgent needs via telemedicine, phone or video chat (face-time type of technology) that permits to talk to the patient and/or to virtually see you and take care of your eye issues, answer questions and to prescribe or refill medications from your home, as we practice shelter-in-place. Insurance have accepted telemedicine charges while we are in this state of emergency. As primary eye care provider we are focused on the health of our patients, our practice remains at the frontline providing essential eyecare. urgent and emergency eyecare to our patients in an effort to alleviate burdens on emergency departments. We are actively monitoring and updating these procedures as the pandemic evolves and new recommendations are issued.

We continue to maintain hygiene and infection control protocols as usual.

NOTICE:

If you returned from outside the US or visited an area defined by the CDC as an area of high risk IN THE LAST 14 DAYS, OR

If you had direct contact with an individual with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) IN THE LAST 14 DAYS, OR,

If you had direct contact with a person who is currently being quarantined for coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure IN THE LAST 14 DAYS, OR,

If you felt feverish, have difficulty breathing and had a cough in the last 24 hours, please note that you will not be given an in-person appointment.

We are prioritizing in-person examinations only to those that are suspected to be medically urgent or time sensitive and established patients who require in-person ongoing care to prevent vision loss or those who indicate that that they are having injuries or urgent eye care needs. We are rescheduling patients that have non-urgent conditions. Please call my cell phone only for true emergencies: 201-370-1142.

Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent COVID-19 (coronavirus):

•Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

•Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

•Avoid contact with people who are sick.

•Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

•Avoid close contact, distance yourself and others, especially important for those who are at higher risk of getting sick to avoid contacting others.

•Strongly recommended that people remain in their homes. Must stay home if you are sick, except to get essential medical care.

•Keep hydrated. You don’t need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks are in short supply and should be save for caregivers. If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when around other people. COVID-19 is particularly serious for the elderly and those immune suppress but can be serious for anyone.

Wishing everyone good health!