With Halloween on the horizon, you might be tempted to invest in some spooky, colored contact lenses. After all, finding them is easy – you can buy them on the internet, in Halloween shops, or even at your local drug store. In fact, buying colored contact lenses is so easy that it’s tempting to believe they’re as harmless as a pair of fake devil horns.
But don’t be fooled: color contact lenses are not safe.
Why aren’t color contact lenses safe?
When a doctor provides someone with prescription contact lenses, they don’t only measure the amount of visual error – they also measure the shape of the eye. This is because there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” contact lens.
Since novelty contact lenses don’t require a prescription, there’s no guarantee the lenses will properly fit your eye. Ill-fitting lenses can scratch the eye or even cause blood vessels to grow into the cornea. Wearing non-prescription contact lenses just once is enough to cause injury or infection.
Colored contact lenses are only safe if they’ve been prescribed to you by a doctor. This is true even if you have perfect vision.
What are the risks associated with wearing colored contact lenses?
Wearing contact lenses without a prescription may lead to:
- Corneal abrasions, or cuts on the eye
- Corneal ulcers, or open sores on the cornea
- Keratitis, a painful bacterial infection that can lead to blindness
Some color contact lenses – specifically “circle lenses” – prevent your eye from receiving the necessary amount of oxygen, and should be avoided at all costs. Circle lenses are not FDA approved.
If colored contact lenses are dangerous, why are they easy to buy?
It is technically illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription in the United States. You can report vendors to the FDA.
Do you have any more questions about colored contact lenses or eye health? Contact Intermountain Eye Centers today to learn more about how to keep your eyes healthy year round.