“Decorative contact lenses may seem like a fun accessory, but if you’re not careful, they can cause serious eye and vision problems,” advises Dr. Darren Wright, NOA President. “Unfortunately, many consumers mistakenly believe they don’t need a prescription for decorative contact lenses that do not provide vision correction. It’s extremely important that consumers get an eye exam and only wear contact lenses, with or without vision correction, that are properly fitted and prescribed by an eye doctor.”
All contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and require a valid prescription. Eye doctors are growing increasingly concerned about how accessible decorative contact lenses are and the risks for consumers who purchase them illegally on the Internet, at flea markets, off-the-shelf in retail or drug stores, and even on the street. The American Optometric Association (AOA) has collaborated with the FDA and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) to help educate consumers about the importance of acquired lenses only with a valid prescription from an eye doctor.
“Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when used properly,” says Dr. Wright. “A medical eye and vision examination from your optometrist can determine if you are a good candidate for wearing contact lenses, regardless of whether they provide vision correction or not. During the exam, your eye doctor will make sure your lenses fit properly and teach you how to safely care for your lenses.”
For more information about how to protect yourself against the risks associated with decorative contact lenses visit www.contactlensart.org, and to find additional resources about contact lens hygiene and safety, please visit www.contactlenssafety.org or www.BetterEyecareNebraska.com.