Colored contacts and other cosmetic lenses can be very appealing to people who want to try a new look, or just wear them for fun. But this popular fad in the contact lens market might not be as safe as people assume. There are inherent risks in using colored contacts that most people probably are not aware of. Some of the consequences, in fact, can be very harmful. If they are not used properly, colored contacts can lead to some danger.
Colored contact lenses are being sold in record amounts. The problem isn’t really using colored contacts, but rather is the quality of them and which brand you choose. Novelty lenses that aren’t prescription come in just about every color and are pretty cool, but that doesn’t mean that they are entirely safe. Although they cost less than ten dollars to purchase, the fallout from using them can be highly costly.
Many of the novelty lenses that you can purchase online or at retail stores come without any instructions about aftercare and have not been inspected or approved by the FDA. The reason that they lack approval is that they can cause substantial damage to someone’s eyes if not used properly.
Decorative lenses are typically made with paint. When placed on the eye’s surface, the paint can severely limit much-needed oxygen flow to the eyes. To compensate, the eye vessels can expand, leading at a minimum to reddened eyes. But if worn long enough, damage to the eye vessels themselves is possible.
A lot of the colored contacts on the market are sold by retailers who aren’t certified to sell contact lenses. This means the likelihood is very low that you will get the instructions you need and the products necessary to prevent infection. If you don’t know how to insert contact lenses or how they are supposed to be removed, you run a great risk of permanent eye damage.
Decorative lenses are also thicker than normal contact lenses, so they are more apt to dry out quickly, which makes them harder to remove. If you are having a hard time removing them, then there is an chance that you can scratch your eye’s surface and cause an infection. In addition, if you don’t know how to clean the lenses and attempt to reinsert them at another time, the risk that the bacteria on them will cause an infection is extremely high. If used improperly, they have a high probability of causing eye ulcers.
Short- versus long-term damage
At a minimum, wearing colored or novelty contacts can cause dry eyes and redness, which can lead to painful eye ulcers that can last for days after wearing the contacts. One of the long-term risks of using colored contacts is that if you develop ulcers, they can become infected, which can lead to scarring on the eye’s cornea. If you don’t use the proper cleaning solutions to help fight the infection, it can potentially lead to blindness.
If you do want to wear colored contact lenses the only way to ensure that they are safe is to have a professional ophthalmologist fit them for you, and to have instructions on how to care for them explained to you in full detail. It is imperative that you follow the instructions for eye contact use to prevent the risk of infection.
If you wear colored contact lenses that were fitted and examined by the ophthalmologist, then they should be safe to wear. Just make sure that you don’t wear them for extended periods of time, and to let your eyes “breathe.” Also, make sure that you care for the lenses properly by cleaning them with the proper solution after each use; ensure you use the correct solutions if your eyes become dry or irritated.
Novelty contact lenses can be really cool-looking, but red, swollen and infected eyes are not cool at all. If you want to wear the lenses, it is best to ensure that they are safe to use, get instructions about how to use them, and only wear them for short periods of time in order to keep your eyes healthy and your vision safe.