Is Wearing Colored Contacts Safe?
As October begins and Fall slowly creeps towards Winter, many kids and adults alike are getting into the Halloween spirit. Colorful costumes, pumpkins, giant bags of candy and spooky decorations line the shelves of every department store and supermarket in cities throughout the U.S. One of the most popular items that people use to accessorize their costumes are decorative or colored contacts, which are typically available in all kinds of shapes, colors, and sizes. Although they do add quite a striking effect and finished look to even the simplest Halloween costumes, it’s important to remember that choosing to wear decorative or colored contact lenses is not a decision to be made lightly. They may add a nice touch to the fun and dress up games but if not done properly, they can end up causing big problems after the fun is over.
Can I Get Colored Contacts Without a Prescription?
The short answer to this question is no. Although you’ll see many physical and online stores that advertise a variety of colored and decorative contact lenses for sale during the Halloween season, these places may be doing so illegally. While you can wear colored contact lenses with or without corrective power, any lenses that are sold still need to be approved by the FDA as safe for the general public to wear. All contact lenses, including decorative ones, are considered as medical devices by the FDA and therefore anyone purchasing them must have a valid prescription that comes from a licensed eye care practitioner. Buying and using contact lenses from an online supplier or store that isn’t legally licensed to sell prescription contacts could make that merchant liable to serious fines and liabilities. Additionally, by using an unlicensed lens carrier, you could put yourself in danger of developing an eye infection or other eye problems from lenses that haven’t been properly tested for wear.
How Do I Use My Prescription to Get Colored Contacts?
First of all, you need to visit an eye doctor or other licensed eye care practitioners who can examine your eyes and determine whether or not you need a corrective prescription for your lenses. You should do this even if you already have a prescription for regular glasses or contact lenses. Because of the special decorative nature of the lens, your prescription may vary a little from your normal prescription. Getting an eye exam before you choose your decorative lenses also helps the eye doctor to get an accurate sizing for the contacts so that you’ll have a comfortable fit and a lower likelihood of any eye irritation while you’re wearing them.
Tips for Wearing Colored Contacts Safely on Halloween
Once you’ve been to the eye doctor, gotten your prescription and chosen your decorative lenses, you’ll want to make sure to use them in a way that prevents that development of any cuts, bruising or infections. Some of the most important things to remember in terms of contact lens safety are:
- Never sleep in the lenses
- Never wear them longer than your doctor recommends
- Do not swim while wearing the contact lenses
- Clean the lenses in the proper solution recommended your doctor
- Always wash hands before handling the lenses