Halloween is a popular time for people to consider experimenting with special effect contact lenses. While they may add to your costume, the risks associated with over the counter contact lenses are significant. Contacts are medical devices. All contact lenses should be fitted by an eye care professional and obtained only with a current prescription.
Wearing over the counter contact can result in infections, cornea scratches, and even blindness.
In the FDA article, “How to Safely Wear Decorative Contact Lenses” the FDA states,
“The FDA confirms decorative contact lenses are not one-size-fits-all and require a prescription from a licensed eye doctor.
- Get an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor even if you feel your vision is perfect.
- Get a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date.
- Don’t buy anime or circle lenses—and don’t expect your eye doctor to prescribe them. These bigger-than-normal lenses that give the wearer a wide-eyed, doll-like look have not been cleared by the FDA.
- Buy the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription, whether you purchase them in person or shop online.
- Follow all directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses, and visit your eye doctor for follow-up eye exams. It‘s especially important to read and follow all instructions because you can injure your eyes if you do not use these medical device products according to the labeling.
- See your eye doctor right away if you have signs of possible eye infection:
eye pain that doesn’t go away after a short time
decrease in vision”
Remember buying contact lenses without a prescription is dangerous. Before you put on those illegally purchased Halloween, cosmetic or prescription contact lenses, consider this from the American Optometric Association (AOA)