Are Colored Contact Lenses Safe?

Woman places colored contact lens in eyeTinted contact lenses can take your Halloween costume to the next level of creepy, but if you decide to wear them, make sure you get a prescription from an ophthalmologist.

We live in the age of whimsical experimentation when it comes to fashion. Popular hair colors range from bright blue to wild purple to delicate silver, so it only makes sense that eye color can be just as playful.

You may want to sport a new iris shade this Halloween but show caution. Tinted contact lenses purchased at a costume shop or online can cause problems ranging from mild irritation to severe eye damage.

Before you decide to buy decorative contact lenses for a costume party, consider these important points:

Contact Lenses Require a Prescription

All contact lenses are considered medical devices which require a customized fitting by an eye care specialist. It is illegal to sell corrective or decorative contact lenses in the United States without a prescription. Therefore, Halloween stores and novelty shops that sell decorative contacts are breaking the law and could be subject to hefty fines.

Decorative Contacts May Not be FDA-Approved

Not only are many stores selling contacts without a prescription, they may also be selling contacts that are not approved by the FDA. The lenses you purchase from your ophthalmologist have met the FDA’s rigorous safety standards, and they come with specific instructions for usage, cleaning and disposal.

Contacts that are not FDA-regulated may contain materials or chemicals that are dangerous to your vision. Additionally, when not appropriately fitted, decorative contacts may adhere to your cornea and cause infection, abrasions, scarring and even vision damage.

Unsafe Habits with Contact Lenses Can Cause Eye Problems

Contact lenses require specific care and maintenance. If you do not practice proper contact lens hygiene, you can damage your vision. Sleeping in your contacts, storing them in tap water or reusing lens solution are common mistakes that could result in a dangerous infection. To learn more about caring for contacts, click here.

Make an Appointment with an Ophthalmologist

You can still accentuate your Halloween costume with a new eye color this year, but purchase contacts through a board-certified physician. Call one of our eye doctors and make an appointment for an eye exam and contact lens fitting.

After your visit, you will have a valid prescription with an FDA-approved brand name, your lens measurements and an expiration date. If you decide not to purchase your contacts through your eye doctor, buy them from a reputable retailer that requires a prescription.

Prescription contact lenses will help you have a happy, safe and eye-friendly Halloween – without the scare of eye damage.

Related Articles:

The Danger of Sleeping in Your Contacts
Proper Use of Contacts Prevents Long-Term Eye Damage