With Halloween approaching, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is warning consumers about the risks of wearing decorative contact lenses without a prescription from an eye doctor. These noncorrective lenses, designed only to change the appearance of eye color, are easily accessible to consumers and are especially popular around Halloween.
Federal law requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate decorative lenses as a medical device, similar to corrective lenses; however, decorative lenses continue to be illegally marketed and distributed directly to consumers through a variety of sources including flea markets, the Internet, beauty salons, and convenience stores.
Purchasing contact lenses without a prescription can result in serious eye health and vision damage since consumers are not properly educated on cleaning and disinfecting nor in proper removal and application of the contact lens. Without a prescription and wearing instructions from an eye doctor, consumers who wear these contact lenses put themselves at risk of serious bacterial infection, or even significant damage to the eye’s ability to function, with the potential for irreversible vision loss.
According to the AOA, only a proper medical evaluation from an eye doctor can determine whether patients are viable candidates to wear contact lenses, if they are capable of wearing lenses without problems, and ensuring the lenses fit properly. Even though they carry no prescription, and may be worn for only short periods, decorative contact lenses carry the same risks as corrective contact lenses. Because of this, it’s important for consumers utilizing these lenses to familiarize themselves with proper contact lens care information available from an eye doctor, so as to reduce the risk of infection.”
Other risks associated with the use of decorative contact lenses include conjunctivitis, swelling, allergic reaction, corneal ulcers and corneal abrasions due to poor lens fit. The AOA urges consumers not to take a chance with these decorative lenses. Seek care from a trained professional and be fitted properly.
At Cockrell Eyecare Center, we have a variety of decorative and colored contact lens. If you have any questions concerning these lenses, or would like to know if you are a candidate for contact lens wear, please contact our office in Stillwater at 405-372-1715. We also invite you to visit our website at www.cockrelleyecare.com and like us on Facebook at Cockrell Eye Care Center!