How not to let your Halloween Contact Lenses turn your eyes into a permanent fright!

Its time to start thinking about enhancing your Halloween costume and prescription costume contact lenses are the perfect finishing touch to any spectacular costume!  If you are considering using costume contact lenses as part of your Halloween get-up this season, make sure you don’t purchase them from a gas station, online store, nail salon or other unlicensed dealer—or you and your eyes could be in for a real scare.

We’ve seen many cases during past Halloween seasons, where people who wore illegal costume OTC lenses ended up with an eye injury or inflammation. One of the more serious risks people face when wearing costume OTC lenses is developing a corneal ulcer. This happens when a bacterial infection occurs under the lens and can cause pain, irritation, discomfort and possible blindness.

OTC lenses can also cause corneal abrasions and conjunctivitis

This occurs when the lenses injure or scratch the eyes. If they are not tailored to a person’s eyes, the lenses may scratch or cause an infection, particularly if they are not kept clean with the correct solution or by not fitting properly and/or people don’t receive or follow proper instructions on how to insert, remove and sterilize lenses.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the potential risks associated with non-prescription, decorative lenses include:

  • Corneal ulcer
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Allergic reactions like itchy, inflamed, watery red eyes that doesn’t go away with increased discomfort
  • Infection
  • Decreased vision or light sensitivity
  • Blindness

Adolescents and young adults are the most common groups affected by the risks associated with some decorative contact lenses, according to the FDA. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that when decorative contact lenses are sold without a prescription and without proper fitting and education about wear and care from an eye-care professional, the potential for permanent eye damage–including blindness increases.

Cosmetic contact lenses are easy to find and are often sold illegally without a prescription online, novelty shops, barber shops, beauty salons, mall kiosks, Halloween costume stores, convenience stores and even gas stations. Because contacts are a medical device that is regulated by the FDA, it is illegal to sell contacts without a prescription and any supplier who doesn’t require a prescription is breaking the law.

Be Safe – use costume OTC lenses only with a prescription by your eye doctor

Our Optometrists can fit and prescribe safe, decorative costume lenses for you and we have a great selection

Your doctor will be sure that the decorative lenses that are prescribed for you are FDA approved for use on the eye and that the lenses fit your eyes appropriately. Once you have the prescription for your decorative lenses and you’ve bought them, we will be sure to show you to how to properly insert and care for safe wearing.

Call us about our costume lenses and be sure to order by October 18th to be in time for Halloween!



Dr. Martinez’s Visionary Foundation – Healing Hands for the Blind

August 23 – 28, 2018

A very successful surgical mission was carried out by Visionary Foundation and Alberto Martinez, MD from August 23 to August 28, 2018 at “Fundación de Servicios Medicos Voluntarios” (FSMV) Hospital Leonardo Martinez, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

FSMV, a charity clinic led by Marcos Fajardo, MD, serves the impoverished population of San Pedro Sula. Dr. Fajardo provided the logistic support and infrastructure that allowed us to provide free surgical eye care. The patients who received surgery were pre-screened by Dr. Fajardo. Pre-surgical screening consisted of a complete eye exam, diagnosis and plan. Once the need for surgery was determined, appropriate testing such as axial eye length measurement, corneal topography and B-Scan ultra-sonography were performed.

This year, Dr. Martinez spent time training local ophthalmologist Edgar Maldonado following the principle of “When you give a fish to a man, you feed him for a day. When you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. The principal focus of training was clinical cornea, cataract and corneal transplant surgeries.

A total of 54 eye surgeries were performed:

  • 11 corneal transplants (1 Penetrating, 7 Partial or DSAEK, and 3 DMEK)
  • 40 cataract surgeries (32 phaco + 8 extra capsular)
  • Multiple clinical consultations and examinations of general ophthalmology, cornea and external eye diseases and pre and post op evaluations

Patients were seen on their first postoperative day.  Cornea patients were seen again three days later, at the end of the surgical mission. All medications needed for postoperative care were provided for free.  Postoperative care of these transplants will continue via telemedicine with the by using the app WhatsApp, by means of high quality photography and descriptions.



Surgical Complications:

  • 1 DSAEK successfully re-bubbled

We plan to return in August 2019, this time with 2 surgeons. One surgeon may focus exclusively on transplants the other on cataract surgery. Thus, we hope to have a larger surgical impact. One of the most difficult parts of the mission was the heart wrenching process of turning down many people who direly needed a corneal transplant because we did not have enough cornea tissue.

We are thankful to the numerous individuals and organizations that helped us with the success of this mission:

  • Alcon Laboratories
  • SightLife Tissue Bank
  • Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc
  • New World Medical
  • Allergan
  • Vanessa Lemus
  • Dan Lawson and the staff and physicians at Palisades Eye Surgery Center
  • Loretta Scrub Technician and the OR staff at the Washington, DC Hospital Center
  • Toufic Melki
  • Kevin Smith
  • Berny Kreutz

In addition to the surgical mission, Anna Pigotti with the support of Visionary Foundation provided funds to help maintain the infrastructure of the facility where 80+ girls of all ages reside at the orphanage “Hogar San Jose” directed by Sister Thelma. Future plans in this area include visiting the orphanage in October 2019 and providing cash donations to cover a few of the many basic needs.

Once again, thank you for your generous help. You have literally shone light into the life of our fellow human beings.

May your contribution become a light of kindness filling your heart with joy!