Whether you’re looking for a subtle eye color boost or a bold look for Halloween or cosplay, non-prescription colored contacts are a great way to enhance your beauty. However, they’re not without risks if they’re not properly fitted by an eye care professional.
It’s illegal for retailers to sell contact lenses without a prescription, even decorative ones without vision correction. Improperly sized contact lenses can cut, scratch, and cause corneal ulcers or blinding bacterial infections.
If you want to wear contact lenses that change your eye color, only safe, FDA-approved products must be used. Those that are sold over the counter and do not require a prescription are unregulated and can contain dangerous chemicals. This makes them more likely to cause eye health issues, such as corneal scratches, severe bacterial infections, and blindness.
When you go to your ophthalmologist for an eye exam, you are also given a prescription for contacts that are custom-fitted to your eyes and will provide you with the best possible vision. The doctor will measure the curve of your cornea and eyeball, determine if you have astigmatism (which means that your eyes aren’t perfectly round), and recommend a specific type of lens for your needs. They will also give you safety tips and recommendations for proper care of your lenses.
Non-prescription colored contacts are made of the same materials as prescription contact lenses, but they don’t offer any level of vision correction. They are merely intended for cosmetic purposes. For example, you can get a pair of blue or green non-prescription contacts that will make your eyes stand out for Halloween.
You can also find contacts that are designed to add a bit of sparkle or dimension to your natural eye color, but they don’t correct any vision problems. These are often referred to as vanity contact lenses. Regardless of what type of lenses you choose to purchase, following all instructions for their care and storage is essential, as failure to do so can result in painful, inflammatory complications.
Eye doctors will never encourage you to wear costume lenses. These lenses are made of poor-quality plastics and can scratch the clear front window of your eye. Corneal abrasions can lead to painful, potentially blinding bacterial infections like keratitis. They may also block oxygen to your eye, resulting in decreased vision. Some people have even lost their eyesight completely after wearing costume contact lenses. For example, Julian Hamlin had to undergo 10 surgeries after wearing contacts meant to change his eye color for a cosplay convention, and now lives with blindness in one of his eyes.
For many people, Halloween and cosplay costumes aren’t complete without colored contacts. While these decorative lenses may seem safe, they can be very dangerous for your eyes if you wear them with an improper prescription or buy them from an unregulated seller. These lenses are not FDA-approved and could contain chemicals that can cause serious eye health complications, even permanent blindness.
A recent study published in the journal Eye & Contact Lens found that non-prescription color contacts are not made of safe materials, often containing chlorine and iron. These chemicals are often used to tint and create playful patterns on the lenses, and they can scratch the clear front window of your eye (the cornea), allowing bacteria in and leading to infections.
These complications can lead to permanent damage and vision loss, whether it’s a bacterial infection, an ulcer, or something else. Even worse, they can happen quickly. An untreated bacterial infection can develop into a corneal ulcer in as little as 24 hours, and the results can be devastating.
Non-prescription costume contacts are also more likely to contain dirt, toxins, and bacteria that can cause problems. This is because they are not as thoroughly inspected or cleaned as prescription contacts, and people tend to share these lenses with others, which can spread germs.
Regardless of your desire to look spooky, the health risks of wearing costume contacts are just too great to take. Obtaining an eye exam from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist is the only way to get the contacts you need to make your Halloween look complete while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. You should also only purchase your contacts from reputable retailers who follow strict safety regulations and never share your contact lenses with anyone. One night of looking scary is not worth the risk to your vision.
Non-prescription colored contacts (also known as cosmetic, decorative, or costume contact lenses) are soft lenses that can be worn for a special effect. Whether it’s for Halloween, cosplay, or a photoshoot, these lenses allow people to change their eye color or the shape of their pupils for aesthetic reasons. They’ve been used for decades in movies and fashion shoots. Although these lenses are not medically necessary, they’ve become a popular accessory for both adults and teens.
It’s illegal for a retailer to sell these lenses without a valid prescription, yet many online vendors and stores continue to do so. These fake lenses bypass important safeguards, like contact lens fitting and instructions on proper care, and can cause serious eye injuries. They also often contain bacteria or other contaminants. For example, unlicensed manufacturers of these lenses often use cheap plastic that contains toxins like lead. The cornea absorbs the toxins and then into the bloodstream, where they can cause various vision problems, including blurriness.
Corneal scratches, irritation, and eye infections are also common side effects of wearing these unlicensed lenses for long periods of time. These injuries can be dangerous and even blinding, especially if they’re not treated promptly.
Illegal lenses can also damage your eye health by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets through to your cornea. This can cause serious problems, like corneal ulcers or keratitis, requiring surgery and resulting in permanent eye damage.
It may seem counterintuitive to knowingly buy unlicensed contacts from an unknown source, but doing so puts you at serious risk for eye injuries and infections. You should only purchase contacts from licensed retailers who follow strict FDA requirements and provide safe, clean lenses.
It’s also important to note that non-prescription colored contacts do not offer any level of vision correction. If you have a refractive error, such as astigmatism, you’ll need to wear prescription contacts to correct your vision. The good news is that there are plenty of options for people with astigmatism who want to change their eye color.
Non-prescription colored contacts are made out of safe materials and fit snugly against your eyes. However, they’re not regulated by the FDA, so there’s always a risk that the lenses could contain harmful chemicals or other ingredients. Additionally, sharing or wearing contact lenses that aren’t yours can lead to eye infections. It’s always best to get a prescription from an eye doctor before purchasing a pair of cosmetic color contacts, even if you have perfect vision.
People wear non-prescription colored contacts to add dimension or depth to their eyes, to look like a character from a movie or TV show, or simply to change their look. The most popular colors are blue, green, and brown, but many other options exist. Non-prescription color contacts are available in a variety of colors and styles, including smoky and smokey shades, cat eye effects, and neon or light-up lenses.
Some people use non-prescription contacts to help correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism, in addition to changing their eye color. These are called toric or multifocal-colored contacts and require a prescription. People with presbyopia often wear multi-focal or bifocal glasses for everyday use and sometimes switch to prescription color contacts when ready to take on the challenge of being a contact lens wearer after age 40.
Contacts can be very comfortable to wear, especially if you’ve had them for a long time and have learned how to care for them properly. Wearing them for too long can cause the cornea to become dry, causing redness and itching, or they can tear if the lenses aren’t removed correctly. It’s also important to make sure that the lenses you’re wearing are the right size for your eyes and have a comfortable fit. If you want to try a different style or color of contact lenses, schedule an appointment with your optometrist today! We’ll provide a comprehensive eye exam and fitting and help you find the perfect color contacts for your personal style. We carry a full selection of both prescription and non-prescription colored contacts.