Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

Consumer Advisory: Halloween Safety

October 23, 2013

WINNIPEG, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ – The Opticians Council of Canada (OCC)
urges consumers to heed warnings when considering cosmetic contact
lenses (non-corrective coloured lenses) for their Halloween costumes.
Cosmetic lenses are sold as costume accessories at some retail outlets
and online, and are used to change eye colour or to create an effect
such as ‘vampire’ or ‘cat’ eyes. While cosmetic lenses are readily
available, critical information about how to use and care for these
devices is not provided by unregulated sellers.

Improper lenses can lead to allergic reaction, infection, swelling of
the cornea, and even blindness. Severe eye infections have been
reported in as little as 24 hours, and some of this damage can be
difficult to treat or repair. Eye infections such as keratitis can
quickly become serious and cause loss of vision if left untreated.

The OCC recommends consulting a Licensed Optician to help you make the
right decision on a product that won’t hurt your vision. Cosmetic
lenses require the same hygiene and care as prescription contact
lenses. A Licensed Optician can also provide training on contact lens
use and instruction on hygiene.

Licensed Opticians are regulated eye health care professionals who
ensure that you receive the essential care and education necessary when
choosing contact lenses, eyeglasses or low vision aids. They are
trained to recommend and safely fit a full range of devices that help
improve eyesight and take into account your lifestyle, environment, and

Professionals in the movie and television industry work with these
devices regularly, and they must ensure the safety of their actors.
“Contour Contact Lens has been the premier supplier of custom tinted
contact lenses to ‘Hollywood of the North’ for over 20 years,” says
owner Marcine Peter. “We are proud to have been involved in TV series
such as ‘X-Files’ and ‘Supernatural’ and feature films such as
‘Chronicles of Riddick’ and ‘The Twilight Saga’. We safeguard the
vision and eye health of the actors on set by monitoring the lens fit
and ensuring that proper safety measures are followed. Every pair of
contact lenses is professionally fitted by one of our licensed lens
technicians and the wear of the lenses is monitored to ensure not only
the short term, but also the long term ocular health.”

In December 2012, the federal government amended the Food and Drug Act
to re-classify cosmetic contact lenses as class II medical devices -
the same classification as prescription contact lenses. The Government
of Canada felt this amendment was necessary to protect the public from
purchasing unregulated medical devices without the support of an eye
health care professional.

To find out more about Licensed Opticians, or to find one in your area,
go to www.licensedoptician.ca.

SOURCE The Opticians Council of Canada

Image with caption: “Eye damaged by cosmetic contact lens (CNW Group/The Opticians Council of Canada)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131023_C5945_PHOTO_EN_32363.jpg

Source: PR Newswire