> > Article

Are Decorative Contact Lenses Safe?

Teens and older children might want to wear decorative contact lenses with their Halloween costumes. But before buying decorative lenses, Today’s Vision wants you to know: Contact lenses are not cosmetics or over-the-counter merchandise. They are medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Places that advertise them as cosmetics or sell them without a prescription are breaking the law. They are not “one size fits all.” A licensed eye doctor must measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to contact lens wear. A poor fit can cause serious eye damage, including • scratches on the cornea (the clear dome of tissue over the iris - the part of the eye that gives you your eye color) • corneal infection (an ulcer on the cornea) • conjunctivitis (pink eye) • decreased vision or even blindness • Places that sell decorative lenses without a prescription may give you few or no instructions on how to clean and care for your lenses. How to Buy Decorative Contact Lenses Safely Get an eye exam from your Today’s Vision eye doctor, even if you feel your vision is perfect. Get a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date. But don’t expect your eye doctor to prescribe anime, or circle, lenses. These bigger-than-normal lenses that give the wearer a wide-eyed, doll-like look have not been approved by FDA. Buy the lenses from your eye doctor or a seller that requires you to provide a prescription. Follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses, and visit your eye doctor for follow-up eye exams. Remember: Never share these lenses with anyone else, and do not sleep in them! See your eye doctor right away if you have signs of possible eye infection, including redness, eye pain that doesn’t go away after a short time, or decrease in vision.