It can be tempting to buy decorative contact lenses for a costume or dramatic effect, but you could end up with costly — and painful — consequences if you don’t have a prescription. The U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warns about purchasing over-the-counter contacts to prevent eye injuries that can occur when wearing lenses that don’t properly fit your eyes.

For example , when these cosmetic lenses are not the right size or measurement for your eyes, you risk scratches to the corneas, corneal infections, pink eye, decreased vision, and even blindness. Also, decorative contact lenses typically don’t come with instructions on how to clean or insert them, which can also lead to eye problems.

The FDA also notes that selling decorative disposable lenses without a prescription is against the law. The lenses do not fall within the category of cosmetics or other products that will can be sold over the counter. Any contact lenses, even those of which do not correct vision, require a prescription and can only be sold by authorized distributors.

According to an American Optometric Association article , AOA president Robert C. Layman, O. D. shares, “It’s extremely important the fact that patients get an eye exam and only wear lenses, with or without vision correction, that are prescribed for and fitted to your own eyes simply by a doctor of optometry. ” If you must indulge in colored lenses, be sure to see an eye doctor plus get the prescription.

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