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Box 660, #4-3380 Smith Drive
Armstrong, BC, V0E 1B0

Evening Appointments Available

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Box 660, #4-3380 Smith Drive
Armstrong, BC, V0E 1B0

Evening Appointments Available

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Author: makayla

Cosmetic Coloured Contact Lenses – Warning!

Canadians planning their Halloween costumes should be wary of decorative contact lenses, according to health officials.

Health Canada warned in a recent release that while such decorative lenses are popular additions to Halloween attire, they can pose risks such as cuts or scratches on corneas, allergic reactions, impaired vision, infections and even blindness.

Decorative contact lenses, also referred to by other names such as “fashion,” “costume” or “cosmetic” lenses, don’t correct vision but change how eyes look.

The public health agency warned that such lenses can be sold at unlicensed novelty stores, flea markets or online, which means they could contain harmful ingredients such as toxic dyes.

Health Canada advises those who want decorative lenses to stick to companies licensed by the public health agency. These companies have products that are tested for safety and quality.

The following companies are licensed by sellers of decorative contact lenses in Canada: Alcon Laboratories Inc., Bausch & Lomb Inc., Ciba Vision Corporation, Coopervision Inc., Geo Medical Co., Ltd., Les Lesieur Enterprises Inc., Neo Vision Co. Ltd., Unicon Optical Co., Ltd.

The health agency also has a myriad of other tips for those using the lenses this Halloween, including properly cleaning and disinfecting them, never sleeping with them on, never sharing them with others, and talking to licensed eye-care professionals if there is any discomfort. Some forms of discomfort may include itchy, watery or red eyes and blurriness.

Several eye-care organizations in Canada have issued similar warnings urging consumers to stay away from such contact lenses.

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) said in a news release that these lenses can cause corneal ulcers, which can “quickly lead to permanent loss of vision if left untreated.”

“No one should purchase, and then wear, cosmetic lenses directly from a retail outlet without a prescription and professional oversight. The risks are far too high,” Dr. Allan Slomovic, who works with the COS, said in the release.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists added that those dressing up for Halloween should also stay away from applying makeup products near the lid or lash line that are not specifically designed for the area.

It noted that some people use blush or red lip liner around the eye, which could transfer bacteria from other parts of the face to inside the eye and cause an infection.

“Vision is precious. If novelty contact lenses are the finishing touch for your Halloween costume, see your doctor of optometry first,” a statement from the organization read.

What Are Floaters?

I can still clearly remember becoming aware of floaters in my eyes as a young child. Lying in the sun with closed eyes I was able to visualize clear dots and tubules that would drift from side to side when I moved my eyes. I realized that the viewing conditions were what made the floaters visible, since I could not see them once I opened my eyes and looked at the world around me.
The floaters that I have described above are called hyaloid floaters, and they are optical imperfections left in the vitreous humor (the clear gel that fills the large back chamber of the eye) by the hyaloid blood vessel system that is part of embryonic eye development and largely disappears before birth.

As we age, many of us become increasingly aware and sometimes bothered by floaters. This is the result of a progressive change in the vitreous gel called syneresis, which results in liquefaction of the gel and the solid fibrils clumping together to form larger particles that can be visible and transiently obscure our vision.

Some floaters can be associated with eye health problems and require immediate assessment and treatment to prevent serious vision loss. Floaters that are new, changing, or appear suddenly – particularly if associated with flashes (arcs of light in the peripheral vision) – should be assessed on an urgent basis by your eye care professional to determine whether they are related to a tear or break in the retina, retinal detachment, bleeding in the eye, inflammation in the eye, or other pathological condition requiring medical treatment.

Many of us notice floaters in our eyes. Evaluation by your eye care professional can help to determine whether they are the result of normal aging process or are a cause for concern. If you experience floaters, see your eye care professional for assessment.

Dr. Tim Styles

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses aren’t that scary, we promise! Here is a break down to ease your mind on common questions revolved around our processes with contacts.


At Armstrong Optometry we are always staying up-to-date with new technologies and materials for contacts. If you have tried using them before, we encourage you to try again as they have come a long way in comfort, design, and the ability to accommodate high prescriptions. Contacts also come in multifocal and toric (for those with astigmatism). Lenses are designed for digital device use for the office or phones, and many come in dailies for part-time wear. Daily contacts are very convenient as you do not need to clean them, there is no hassle with solutions or cases and you throw them out at the end of the day!


The benefits of contacts:

– Great for active people or events

– Clearer vision as contact lenses have a wider field of view, they won’t change in the fog or rain and there aren’t any reflections.

– They can change/enhance your eye colour

– Extra UV protection

– Ability to wear any non-prescription eyewear (such as sunglasses)

– Awesome for kids who are tough on their glasses.


The process to wearing contacts for a first timer would be an hour long appointment with our Contact Lens Professional, Amanda. At the appointment she goes over care of the lenses, teaches you how to put them in and take them out without pressure, narrows down which contacts will work best for your lifestyle and contact wear, and sends you home with trial contact lenses. At the end of your appointment you will wear your contacts out of the clinic to help adjust to them. After two weeks of trying and wearing them, you then come back for a progress check with Amanda to ensure the lenses are fitting well on your eyes and that they feel comfortable. If not, we try as many times as we have to until we get it right!

For people who have unsuccessfully tried contacts before, your appointment is a half hour. Amanda will give you a consult and troubleshoot why they didn’t work for you, and re-fit you into new technology lenses. If you’re comfortable with putting contacts in, then that is awesome! If not, Amanda can give you a refresher lesson. Once you’ve worn your new lenses for two weeks, you come back for a quick progress check to ensure the lenses are fitting well on your eyes.


We know contact lenses can seem daunting, however we take our time and ensure you are completely comfortable with them.

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