Decorative contact lenses allow you to change your eye color and are often used as everyday fashion accessories or temporary decorations, like to make your eyes look creepy for Halloween. People wear them for different purposes all the time, but these contact lenses are not meant to be worn without a proper prescription and fitting by an eye doctor.
Decorative contact lenses are available without a prescription at many Halloween and novelty stores, convenience stores, through street vendors, and even at flea markets and online, but all of these places that sell decorative lenses to you without a proper eye exam or prescription are selling them illegally and your eyes could suffer the consequences.
Risks of Non-Prescription Contact Lenses
Because decorative contact lenses are actual medical devices which are regulated by the FDA and require an eye exam by an eye doctor in order to fit the contacts to your eyes, wearing ones that you bought from a store without a prescription could cause serious harm to your eyes.
Contacts that don’t fit properly can move around on your eyes and can cause severe damage. They can scratch the corneas of your eyes, which is extremely painful and can cause vision loss or even complete eye loss if the damage is severe enough. They can also cause corneal infections, which are like ulcers on your cornea, and conjunctivitis or pink eye as it is more commonly known. These problems can lead to permanent vision impairments like decreased vision or complete blindness. In some cases, people have lost their entire eye.
The concerns with these decorative lenses aren’t just that they don’t properly fit without a prescription, but that those who buy them basically off the street aren’t shown or told how to properly clean them and take care of them. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly can lead to bacterial infections that can progress rapidly into corneal ulcers and can make you go blind, and it can all happen in as little as a 24-hour time period.
It’s not the lenses themselves that are the problem. It’s the fact that they are used without a prescription, without seeing an eye doctor and getting their professional input on whether or not your eyes can actually handle wearing contacts, and without follow-up care from an eye doctor.
When obtaining the decorative lenses through an eye doctor who has given you a proper exam and prescription, the decorative contact lenses can be just as safe to use as regular contact lenses, provided they are cleaned, taken care of, and placed on the eyes properly.
If you want to wear decorative contact lenses, always get a professional eye exam performed by a licensed eye doctor. The eye doctor will be able to measure your eye and fit the contact to the size and shape of your eye so that the contacts don’t move around and cause injuries.
Always get a prescription for the decorative contact lenses. Wearing contact lenses that have been prescribed for you will help to reduce the problems the lenses can cause to your eyes. You should also keep seeing your eye doctor for regular follow-ups to make sure the contact lenses are not causing any problems that you can’t see or feel.
Care for the contact lenses properly. Clean the lenses with the proper kind of solution and keep them moist by soaking them in solution when they aren’t being worn. There should always be instructions that come with your contact lenses that will tell you how to clean them, disinfect them, and wear them correctly. If you don’t have instructions with your contact lenses, ask your eye doctor for them.
If you have any kind of eye pain, redness, itching, or discharge in your eyes remove the contact lenses and see your eye doctor immediately. Developing an infection or cuts and scrapes on your eyes can lead to serious vision impairments and the sooner you have your eyes cared for, the less likely you will suffer any permanent vision loss.
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Reducing Eye Problems
Other than obtaining decorative contact lenses with a prescription and taking care of them to reduce your eye problems, there are many other ways you can keep your eyes healthy and decrease the chances you have of developing infections, diseases, and disorders of the eyes.
If you don’t actually need the contact lenses to improve your vision, it’s best just to avoid them altogether. Your eyes are important and they should be treated with care and love.
As far as everyday vision improvement goes, there are 17 vitamins and minerals that are found in a variety of different foods and supplements that have the ability to boost your eye health in many different ways. These vitamins and minerals will help to improve your ability to see at night, reduce your risks of developing age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases, and they will lower your risk of vision loss.
Take care of your eyes now so you can have strong, healthy vision for many years to come!