The CDC recommends That you do not purchase decorative contact lenses from costume shops, online stores, beauty salons, drug stores, flea markets, or anywhere that doesn’t require a prescription
Why does the CDC recommend that you do not buy contact lenses that are not prescribed?
- Contact lenses that are sold without a prescription and proper fitting lead to a higher chance of contact lens related eye problems.
- If the contact lenses are not fit properly the eye is more susceptible to scratches on the outer layer of the eye known as the cornea.
- The cornea is the protective layer of the eye.
- Scratches on the cornea can lead to ulcers and infections such as pink eye.
- These infections can then lead to permanent scaring.
- Blindness has been reported by the American Academy of Opthalmology .
What does the American Academy of Opthalmology report?
- The American Academy of Opthalmology website states, “These risks include dangerous infections that can lead to permanent vision loss and even require corneal transplants. This is why many ophthalmologists see a spike in patients coming to them with these types of injuries around Halloween.”
- The website also states,”Novelty products, like circle lenses, are not FDA-approved. Circle lenses can be particularly harmful, because the lens covers more of the eye than regular corrective lenses, which makes it very difficult for necessary oxygen to get through to the eye.”
Information on novelty contact lenses
- It is illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription in the United States.
- Contact lenses are medical devices that are regulated by the FDA and require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional.
Symptoms of eye irritation
- Eye tearing
- sensitivity to the light
What should you do if there is eye irritation?
- Remove your lenses immediately and do not put them back in your eyes.
- Don’t throw away your lenses.
- Report serious eye problems associated with your lenses to the FDA’s MedWatch reporting program.
How should you care for contact lenses?
The CDC recommends that you,
- Wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
- “Rub and rinse your contact lenses as directed by your eye care professional.
- Clean and disinfect your lenses properly according to the labeling instructions.
- Do not “top-off” the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the left over contact lens solution after each use.
- Never reuse any lens solution.
- Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water. Never use non-sterile water (distilled water, tap water or any homemade saline solution). Tap and distilled water have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that is resistant to treatment and cure.
- Remove your contact lenses before swimming. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes and the ocean
- Replace your contact lens storage case every 3 months or as directed by your eye care professional.”