This Halloween, you might be tempted to complete your perfect costume with bright red zombie eyes, eerie cat eyes, or white zombie eyes. However, think twice before you put a non-prescription item over your corneas. In today’s post, our Raleigh eye doctor explains how decorative contacts can cause eye issues that are downright scary, and some alternative options you can consider.
The most important thing to understand about contact lenses, whether they are decorative or prescription, is that they are not considered cosmetics or over-the-counter-merchandise, at least not by our government. They are treated as medical devices and accordingly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Places that advertise contacts as cosmetics or sell them over-the-counter, without a prescription, are breaking the law.
The reason why is simple—without any regulation or oversight, the lenses could be made from anything. In order to keep them affordable for the average consumer, manufacturers likely use the cheapest material and dye options, regardless on the effect they might have on ocular health. Take it from an eye doctor who has seen it all–nothing should go in your eyes that has not passed a federal safety inspection.
Another big issues is that contact lenses are not “one size fits all,” and must be measured and sized to correctly for each wearer. A poor fit can cause serious eye issues, such as:
Corneal ulcers or sores
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Vision impairment or blindness
It’s important for patients to understand that eye bacterial infections can be extremely rapid, causing ulcers, damage or even total blindness in as little as 24 hours. Even if you are only planning to wear the contacts for one night, you are still taking a big risk.
Yes, there are decorative colored contact options that are prescribed, and therefore much less risky. As with regular contacts, you should get an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist), and Get a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date. Purchase the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription. Lastly, be sure to visit your eye doctor for follow-up eye exams.
From all of us at Raleigh Eye Center, have a safe and happy Halloween!
Raleigh Eye Center is a dedicated group of eye care professionals committed to providing the very best optical care to Raleigh residents. Whether you need a Raleigh eye doctor, a Raleigh eye surgeon, or a Raleigh optometrist, we are confident you will be satisfied with your procedure. Call now to schedule an appointment.