Are Costume Contact Lenses Safe?
Costume contact lenses are contacts that alter the appearance of your eyes but do not improve vision. These contacts can change the appearance of your eyes in various ways. For example, they can alter the color or shape of the pupil and create effects resembling those of cartoon characters or movie actors. Costume contact lenses are medical devices.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates contact lenses, including costume contact lenses. So, just like corrective contact lenses, you require a prescription when purchasing costume contact lenses.
You should never buy contact lenses from a beauty supply, novelty, Halloween store, street vendor, or flea market. Any contact lenses without a prescription are illegal and could damage your eyesight.
The Difference Between Costume Contact Lenses and Corrective Contact Lenses
Costume contact lenses: These are one-size-fits-all contact lenses. They are available in online retailers, neighborhood budget stores, and costume and beauty stores without a prescription, which is illegal. Costume contact lenses are not FDA approved and pose a danger to vision and eye health.
Corrective Contact Lenses: An eye specialist must properly fit these corrective soft lenses during a consultation or examination. This guarantees that the lens is the ideal size, shape, and composition for your particular eye shape.
You need a valid prescription to purchase corrective contact lenses from a licensed shop or an optometrist’s office. If you want to add flair to your eye color, use one of these channels where security precautions and guarantees are in place.
Costume Contact Lenses Use
These contacts have other names, including:
- Fashion contact lenses
- Theater contact lenses
- Colored contact lenses
- Cosmetic contact lenses
- Decorative contact lenses
- Halloween contact lenses
Generally, costume contacts are worn for cosmetic reasons. That is why many users often wrongly assume they do not require consultation with an eye care professional.
Decorative contact lenses can make you look like your favorite singer or movie star or temporarily turn your brown eyes to another color. They are perfect for Halloween; they can alter your eyes to resemble cat or vampire eyes. These gadgets have grown in popularity, especially among teenagers.
The Risks of Decorative Contact Lenses
The paints and pigments that decorate the lenses make them thicker and less breathable, so less oxygen gets through to the eye. In addition, contact lenses, including decorative ones, can cause severe harm to your eyes if worn incorrectly or bought without a prescription.
The associated risks include:
• Corneal ulcers
• Decreased vision
• Allergic responses such as itchy, watery eyes
• Blinding painful bacterial infections, such as keratitis
• Corneal Abrasion, i.e., a scratch or cut on the outer layer of your eyeball
Eye surgery, such as a corneal transplant may be necessary to treat the wounds. And therapy does not always work. Costume contact lenses have caused people to go blind. Thus, it is essential to be alert for potential eye infections when wearing any contact lens.
The eye infection symptoms include:
• Reduced vision
• Persistent eye pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should urgently schedule an appointment with a qualified ophthalmologist or optometrist. If an eye infection goes untreated, it could get worse and result in blindness. Ensure you adhere to your doctor’s recommendations for lens care, disinfection, and wear. Ask for directions if your eye doctor does not give you any.
Costume Contact Lenses Do’s and Don’t
Get your eyes checked and get a prescription. Visit a qualified eye doctor for an eye checkup and correct contact lens fit. Your contact lenses fit plays a critical role in your vision, and your eyes could become damaged by a poor fit. So, all contact lenses require a prescription, including decorative lenses. The lens prescription should include the correct lens measurements and expiration date. Always follow the doctor’s advice and schedule follow-up eye exams.
Adhere to the contact lens care instructions. It is essential to follow the instructions with your contact lenses relating to wearing, cleaning, and disinfecting your contact lenses. Ask an eye professional for the instructions if you do not get them.
Remove the contact lenses if your eyes are red, have a discharge or persistent pain, and seek medical attention urgently. Eye redness, discharge, and pain are signs of an eye infection. If you suspect an eye infection, remove your contact lenses and see an eye doctor immediately.
Never share contact lenses with anyone. Your contact lenses are fitted for your eyes. Just as you would not share your toothbrush, you should never share your costume contact lenses.
Never buy contact lenses without a prescription. It is vital to see an eye doctor and get a prescription. It ensures the contact lenses fit and work well. It also reduces the chances of undetected damage to your eyes. Wearing costume contact lenses without a prescription can damage your eyes, especially the cornea. An eye prescription and regular checkups are essential for your vision and eye health.
Buying Costume Contact Lenses
Contact lenses, including costume contact lenses, are available from your eye doctor, eye care centers, mail-order companies, foreign manufacturers or distributors of decorative lenses, and on the Internet.
It is crucial to purchase contact lenses from a business that only offers FDA-cleared or approved brands and needs a prescription from you. Any person who wants to sell you contact lenses must obtain your prescription.
They should also ask for your doctor’s name and contact information and confirm it with them. If they do not ask, they might be selling you illegal contact lenses and breaking the law.
Wearing costume contacts is safe if you first consult with a doctor and heed their recommendations. It is essential to remember that contact lenses are medical devices that need to be worn and cared for properly. Any contact lenses can raise your risk of developing an eye infection if not worn properly.
Consultation with an eye care specialist is the best approach to guarantee safety when using contact lenses. An ophthalmologist can determine whether you are a good candidate for contacts, measure your eyes for properly fitting lenses, and provide safety advice.
After visiting an eye doctor and acquiring a prescription, make sure to only purchase costume contacts from merchants who demand a prescription and only offer FDA-approved lenses.