The Dangers of Colored Contact Lenses
Written by Shannon Wong on October 25, 2016
If you want your eyes to stand out on Halloween (or simply a night out on the town), colored contacts are an amazing idea. When purchased through your optometrist or ophthalmologist, they can be a safe and easy way to make a striking yet temporary change to your appearance.
Though colored contacts may seem like a simple and fun product, they are considered a medical device; and in the United States, it is illegal to sell them without a prescription and fitting by a licensed eye care professional. As a consumer, it can be very dangerous to buy colored contact lenses over the counter from unauthorized sellers. Many of the colored contacts you see online, in beauty supply stores and at seasonal Halloween retailers are sold illegally.
If you are wondering why colored contacts are so highly regulated, know that buying them from an unauthorized source can lead to complications involving improper fit and unsafe handling. Here, the Austin Eye team explains why these complications are so serious.
Problem No. 1: Improper Fit
Contact lenses are not a one-size-fits-all product. Lenses that are too small can stick to or scratch the cornea, and lenses that are too large may slide out of place. Both of these potential issues are at best painful, and at worst, seriously damaging to your eyes.
Problem No. 2: Unsafe Handling
When you purchase colored or fashion contacts from a beauty supply store or an Internet retailer, it is unlikely that you will be given proper instruction on how to handle and clean your lenses. Improper handling can cause bacteria to enter the eye and lead to infections. Your eyes are a sensitive and complex organ, and are susceptible to bacteria that can cause permanent damage and even vision loss.
How can you avoid these risks, and still win those Halloween costume contests? Schedule an eye exam and obtain a prescription from a licensed eye care professional. This will ensure that you get the correct lens size and a proper education about how to safely wear and care for your new lenses.
Learn More from Austin Eye
Interested in learning more about corrective or colored contact lenses? Schedule an appointment with Austin Eye today. Please call our North office at (512) 250-2020 or our Central office at (512) 454-2020, and a member of our expert team will gladly speak with you.