Have you ever considered purchasing fashion contacts? Fashion contacts seem like a fun idea and a great way to easily change your look instantly. While fashion contacts are generally more popular around Halloween, they can be purchased from novelty stores or online without a prescription.

It is illegal for retailers to sell them without a valid and current prescription from an eye doctor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to warn people that fashion or cosmetic contacts without a prescription aren’t regulated and could pose harmful side effects that could forever haunt you.

Laura Butler is a prime example of someone who purchased a pair of cosmetic contacts without a prescription without thinking twice about potentially harmful side effects. Within 10 hours of wearing the fashion contacts, she was plagued with severe pain in both of her eyes.

Her eye care professional diagnosed her with a severe eye infection, scratched cornea, and damaged vision. The contacts were stuck to her eyes like a suction cup. Laura now has longterm damage to her eyes.

Fashion Contacts Can Often Be Found In Frequently Visited Places

They typically are disguised using the following terms such as “fashion”, “costume”, or “colored” contacts. If you want to purchase colored contacts, you should purchase them from a trusted ophthalmologists office.  Here is a list of places that you should NEVER buy contacts from:

  • street vendors
  • salons or beauty supply stores
  • boutiques
  • flea markets
  • novelty stores
  • Halloween stores
  • record or video stores
  • convenience stores
  • beach shops
  • Internet sites that do not require a prescription

Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons

Say “No” to Fashion Contacts Without a Prescription

Contacts should NEVER be worn as a fashion statement. Contacts that are purchased online and as a fashion accessory might look cool but they could be dangerous to your eye health. They do make colored or fun looking contacts that you can buy without a prescription.

Remember that contacts are considered a medical device. Contacts are regulated by the FDA and stores that sell fashion contacts without a prescription are breaking the law.

Harmful Side Effects of Wearing Fashion Contacts

They are not “one size fits all.” An eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) must measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to contact lens wear. A poor fit can cause serious eye damage, including:

  • scratches on the cornea (the clear dome of tissue over the iris—the part of the eye that gives you your eye color)
  • corneal infection (an ulcer or sore on the cornea)
  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • decreased vision
  • blindness

Fashion contacts may seem like a fun idea and most people don’t think about the dangerous side effects associated with wearing them. Without a proper prescription, you should avoid purchasing fashion contacts without seeing your eye care provider first to obtain a prescription.

Prescription fashion contacts are approved by the FDA and your eye care professional will fit them accordingly, even if they aren’t designed to correct your vision. We also highly suggest that you order contacts from a reputable vision expert and avoid ordering prescription fashion contacts off the Internet from an unknown/unreliable source.

Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons

Have you ever considered purchasing and wearing fashion contacts? Did you know that you should always obtain a prescription before purchasing fashion contacts?