The dangers of using decorative contact lenses without prescription

Medical content revised by - Last revision 09/11/2021
The dangers of using decorative contact lenses without prescription

Foto de Zachary Kadolph en Unsplash

Colored contact lenses are an increasingly popular accessory for people who want to change the color of their iris. But especially during Halloween there is an increase in people using colored contact lenses to enhance their costumes. However, few are aware of the risks associated with these contact lenses.

Most people believe that fancy lenses do not require the same level of care or consideration as standar contact lenses because they can be purchased without prescription or on the internet. However, it should be noted that as confirmed by the OCU, the sale of contact lenses over the internet is illegal and they can only be dispensed in physical stores that have a professional optician-optometrist supervising the sale and ensuring that eye health is not put at risk.

All contact lenses are medical devices that require medical prescription and, therefore, a proper fitting by an eye care professional.

Why do we need a prescription for fantasy contact lenses?

Even if you have perfect vision, you should carry an eye exam before wearing any type of contact lens. A prescription ensures that the lens fits the eye correctly, among other things. If the lens does not fit properly, it could be difficult to remove and cause serious injury.

Tips for wearing costume contact lenses safely

  • Have an eye exam by an eye care professional, such as an ophthalmologist, who will measure each eye and instruct you on how to properly take care of your contact lenses.
  • Obtain a valid prescription that includes the brand name, measurements and expiration date of the lenses.
  • Purchase contact lenses at a shop that requires a prescription.
  • Follow contact lens care instructions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing time.
  • Never share lenses with another person.
  • Have follow-up exams as directed by your ophthalmologist.

If you notice redness, excessive flux, pain or any discomfort from wearing contact lenses, remove them and consult an ophthalmologist immediately. Eye infections can develop into serious injuries very quickly and in some cases, the damage may even be irreversible.

More information

Academia Americana de Oftalmología. Halloween Hazard: Never Buy Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription.

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