Decorative contact lenses sales spike during the Halloween season, and for costume crazed individuals, buying decorative lenses can put that finishing touch to any outfit. However, optometrist Joy Tomko at Virginia Beach Eye Center cautions trick-or- treaters to beware of the potential dangers decorative contact lenses can cause if not properly fitted.
Wearing contact lens without obtaining a prescription from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist can cause serious eye disorders and infections that may lead to blindness. Many consumers are not aware of the real dangers of wearing decorative contact lenses. Most believe that because decorative lenses do not correct vision, and are purely cosmetic, there are no risk involved. It is important to know that even with prefect vision; an eye exam and a prescription from an eye-care professional is required in order to wear any kind of contact lenses.
In 2005, all contact lenses were classified as medical devices under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This classification called for all contact lenses, worn for ANY purpose, including decorative contact lenses, to require a valid prescription and that lenses could not be sold to consumers without one. The danger of wearing decorative contact lenses without a prescription is improper fit. Contact lenses are not designed to be “one size fits all,” and improper fit can cause serious eye damage including scratches on the cornea, corneal infection, decreased vision and even blindness.
To safely wear decorative contact lenses, visit an eye-care professional. They will measure the cornea, the front surface of the eye, to determine the best size, shape, and compatibility for each individual. Your eye-care professional will also discuss proper care and cleaning of the contact lens. Once a prescription has been provided you can purchase contact lens from most eye-care professional or mail-order company, but be sure to only purchase from companies that sells FDA-cleared or approved contact lenses and requires you to provide a prescription.
Dr. Joy Tomko is an experienced optometrist at Virginia Beach Eye Center, a state-licensed, Medicare-certified, AAAHC-accredited ambulatory surgery center and full service Eye Care Center of Excellence at 465 North Great Neck Road specializing in the latest vision technology and offering comprehensive, state-of-the-art eye care services including testing, diagnosis, and treatment for diseases of the eye; laser vision correction, refractive lens exchange, cataract surgery, and other ophthalmic procedures using the most advanced techniques. The center also provides optometry and optician services.