What to Know
- Purchasing non-prescription contact lenses is risky.
- Consult your eye doctor if you notice discomfort in your eyes after wearing contact lenses.
- Avoid places such as cosmetic stores, Halloween stores and non FDA approved companies that sell contact lenses.
Adding colored contacts can take your Halloween costume to the next level. But there are risks when purchasing and wearing contact lenses that are not prescribed by a doctor, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Decorative contact lenses are actually considered medical devices by the FDA, which oversees them just as it would prescription contact lenses.
The agency outlined the followin risks:
What to do, where to go and what to see
•A cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (Corneal Abrasion)
•Allergic reactions like itchy, watery red eyes
If you have red and irritated eyes that last for an unusual period of time or decreased vision, this may be a sign of an eye infection. Infections may cause blindness and scheduling an appointment with an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) should be done right away.
Places to avoid purchasing contact lenses include street vendors, a beauty supply store, Halloween store, flea markets and online companies that are not FDA approved.
Buying colored contact lenses is still possible, so long as you schedule an exam with an eye doctor and buy from them or on the internet from an FDA-approved company that will require a prescription. Make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations on how to properly disinfect and remove or put on your contact lenses to avoid damage and infection to your eyes.
For more information on the dangers of non-prescription contact lenses, click here.