Halloween is just around the corner, and dressing up is all part of the fun for both children and adults alike. In the spirit of dressing up, many adults opt for cosmetic contact lenses that are designed to create certain effects, such as red eyes, zombie eyes, checkered pupils and more. While these contacts can create a great visual impact, they may also cause vision impairment or even blindness.
Non-prescription lenses may not always be sterile and can cause serious infection. In fact, there were so many problems caused by theses lenses that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of them by anyone but licensed eye care professionals in 2005. Despite the ruling however, these contacts are still available online, in convenience stores, as well as novelty shops.
To reinforce the vision impairment cosmetic contacts can cause, we’ve provided some reasons you should reconsider purchasing and wearing these lenses.
- **Poor Fit – Since cosmetic contacts are not properly fitted to your eyes, they can cause corneal scratches, pain, light sensitivity and more.
- **Corneal Ulcers – Often appearing as white spots on the colored portion of the eye, these ulcers have similar symptoms to scratches, but they can form scarring that permanently affects vision.
- **Keratitis – This infection forms in scratches or ulcers and is 16 times more likely to happen with cosmetic lenses.
- **Vision Loss – In more extreme cases, blindness can occur. Extensive scarring can damage the cornea and require a transplant.
If you do decide to wear cosmetic contact lenses, there are some safety guidelines to follow, so you don’t suffer vision impairment:
- **Only purchase your decorative lenses from a licensed eye care professional, such as an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.
- **Make an appointment and obtain a proper prescription for the lenses, so they’re fitted to the size and shape of your eye.
- **Follow all of the cleaning and sterilizing instructions carefully.
- **If you experience redness, swelling or discomfort, see an eye care professional immediately.
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