Cosmetic Contact Lenses


Cosmetic Contact Lenses

by Dr. Jonathan D. Reddell

Cosmetic contact lenses can be a fun way to try out a new look (or complete the perfect Halloween costume), but just like corrective contact lenses, they should be used with caution. Wearing any kind of contact lenses, including decorative ones, can cause damage to your eyes if not used correctly. These risks include:

  • A cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (Corneal Abrasion)
  • Allergic reactions like itchy, watery red eyes
  • Decreased vision
  • Infection
  • And in rare instances, even blindness

To reduce these risks, be sure to follow recommended wearing schedules, use proper lens care practices for cleaning, disinfecting and storing your lenses, and have routine eye exams.

Just like their corrective counterparts, cosmetic contacts (also called decorative, plano, zero-powered or non-corrective lenses) are regulated by FDA. Recent legislation has made it illegal to market cosmetic contact lenses as over-the-counter products. Despite this precaution, you may find cosmetic contact lenses online, at novelty and beauty supply stores or at flea markets. However, for the health and safety of your eyes, you should only purchase contact lenses from your trusted optometrist.

Never ignore symptoms of eye irritation or infection that may be associated with wearing contact lenses. These symptoms include discomfort, excess tearing or other discharge, unusual sensitivity to light, itching, burning, gritty feelings, redness, blurred vision, swelling and pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, remove the lenses immediately and call us at Family EyeCare Center for an appointment.


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