FDA Warns Of Risks With Decorative Contact Lenses

Probably my second-most favorite decorative contact lenses look

Some people probably think that decorative contact lenses are stupid, and rightfully so. Some of them are just ridiculous (that person looks like they have a LifeSaver in their eye). But I guess beauty is literally in the eye of the beholder, and with Halloween right around the corner, I am definitely not against those who want to dress up with some spooky eyes. I’ve never worn any, but I’ve imagined that I would look pretty cool with a pair of those pitch black contacts (Oh, yeah. That’s the stuff).

While these lenses can be fun, what can go overlooked, according to the Food and Drug Administration, is that people should get a prescription for all contacts, including the decorative ones even though they don’t improve your vision. These decorative contacts are not “one size fits all” and buying a pair that are a poor fit for your eyes can cause long-lasting or permanent damage, such as scratches to the cornea, corneal infection, conjunctivitis, decreased vision, and even blindness.

“The problem isn’t with the decorative contacts themselves,” said Bernard Lepri, an optometrist at the FDA.  “It’s the way people use them improperly — without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care.”

The FDA recommends that each person interested in buying decorative contacts first get an eye exam from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist, no matter if you think your vision is perfect. Get a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date. Take the proper steps when it comes to cleaning and wearing the lenses, and get a hold of your doctor right away if you see or feel signs of an eye infection.

So before the fun starts and you let your inhibitions go out the window on Halloween night, make sure to play it safe when it comes to decorative contact lenses.

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