Decorative contact lenses can damage your eyes if they aren't properly prescribed.

The Eye Damaging Effects of Decorative Contact Lenses

Decorative contact lenses allow you to change your eye color and are often used as everyday fashion accessories. They are also often used as temporary decorations, like to make your eyes look creepy for Halloween. You may pick some up at your local costume store or order them from an online retailer. 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.

The Eye Damaging Effects of Decorative ContactsYes, you read that correctly — decorative contacts need to be professionally fit and prescribed before you pop them in your eyes. Unfortunately, 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. However, all of these places that sell decorative lenses to you without a proper eye exam or prescription are selling them illegally. Your eyes could suffer some fairly bad consequences if you choose to purchase them from someone who is not an eye doctor.

Risks of Non-Prescription Contact Lenses

Why is wearing some cheap lenses you picked up at the store so dangerous? Well, decorative contact lenses are actual medical devices that are regulated by the FDA. As such, they 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 vision.

Just why are decorative contacts so dangerous? 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. Scratches can also 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. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye as it is more commonly known, is also a known side effect. These problems can lead to permanent vision impairments like decreased vision or complete blindness. As we mentioned before, in some cases, people have lost their entire eye.

The Importance of a Prescription

The concerns with these decorative lenses aren’t just that they don’t properly fit without a prescription. Also, 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. This risk 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 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. Of course, this is only true if they are cleaned, taken care of, and placed on the eyes properly. So yes, you can add some fun decorative lenses to your Halloween costume this year. Just make sure you go through the proper channels first.

Recommendations for Decorative Contact Lenses

If you want to wear decorative contact lenses, always get a professional eye exam performed by a licensed eye doctor. Pretend like you are going in to get new contacts for everyday use. You’d definitely want a doctor’s opinion on that purchase as well. The eye doctor will be able to measure your eye and fit the contact to its size and shape. This ensures that the contacts don’t move around and cause injuries.

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. This will make sure the contact lenses are not causing any problems that you can’t see or feel.

You should also make sure that you care for the contact lenses properly. Clean the lenses with the proper kind of solution. 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 for your contact lenses, ask your eye doctor for them.

Finally, 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. The sooner you have your eyes cared for, the less likely you will suffer any permanent vision loss. Treat your eyes with care and you’ll have a better chance of having clear vision for life.

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. This will decrease your chances 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. They can also reduce your risks of developing age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases. This 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!

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Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Sen Li says:

    Your words are pretty logical.
    A friend of mine likes to wear decorative contacts and she always shows off her new decorative contacts on her social networks.
    I come from China and as you know, China is the only country that set eye exercises as compulsory activities during the break of classes.
    But those exercises don’t work well, more and more people become myopic everyday in China.
    But the good news is that China really put a high weight on the care of eyes or they won’t ask students and teachers to do eye exercises.
    If US goverment set eye exercise as compulsory activities and use the eye exercise that is as effective, there won’t be so many myopic students in USA.

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.


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