Colored contact lenses are a popular way for individuals to change the color of their eyes. There’s a surge of individuals using them each year at Halloween to enhance their costumes. Problem is, there are risks associated with cosmetic contact lenses.
Most individuals think that cosmetic lenses don’t require the same level of consideration or care as regular contact lenses simply because they’re easily bought on the internet or over-the-counter. But, all contact lenses are considered medical devices and require proper fitting by an eye-care specialist and a prescription. Not to mention, they can also be dangerous. Here’s how:
1. They’re Not a “One-Size-Fits-All”
An optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye doctor) must measure each of your eyes to fit the lenses properly and evaluate how your eye will respond to wearing the contact lenses. A poorly fit lens could cause serious eye damage, including:
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Scratches on your cornea (this is the clear dome of tissue over your iris — the area of your eye that provides your eye color)
- Decreased vision
- Corneal infection (a sore or ulcer on the cornea)
Never purchase cosmetic contact lenses from a retailer who doesn’t ask to see your prescription.
2. They Can Be Unsafe
In 2017, the Journal of Forensic Sciences published a FDA case report showing a majority of counterfeit, unapproved contact lenses that test positive for the types of microbial contamination often found in spoiled food, water and hospital waste.
3. They Can Be Illegal
Safety and health aren’t the only reasons you shouldn’t purchase non-prescribed contact lenses. It’s also illegal. The Federal Trade Commission’s Contact Lens Rule and the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act (FCLCA) stipulate it’s unlawful for retailers to sell any type of contact lenses without first confirming the validity of the individual’s prescription. But, many retailers might not know this or in some cases, might even choose to ignore these consumer protections which are intended to put the patient’s safety and health first.
If you do have your eyes fitted for contact lenses and receive a prescription, you should be fine wearing a pair of Halloween contacts. But, if you don’t, you’re putting yourself at risk of serious eye health problems.
For more contact lenses advice or to request an appointment, reach out to Asterix Eyewear toll-free at 866.771.6654 or complete our online form.