Even if you have perfect vision, you must always have an eye examination and obtain a prescription prior to wearing contact lenses.
Even if you have perfect vision, you must always have an eye examination and obtain a prescription prior to wearing contact lenses. Lenses that are old or not properly fitted to your eye may scratch the eye or cause blood vessels to grow into the cornea. Because a lens can warp over time, and the cornea can change shape, the fit of the contact lens and the power should be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Your return visits will be scheduled depending on the condition of your eyes and visual needs.
The designs painted on costume contacts make the lenses thicker, and less permeable, it is harder for oxygen to get through the lens to the eye, so it is important to consult with an ophthalmologist or optometrist to ensure your eyes can handle these types of lenses. During an eye exam, eye care professionals – such as ophthalmologists or optometrists – will:
- Measure your eyes in order to properly fit contacts.
- Assess whether or not you are a good candidate for contacts, regardless of whether you want corrective lenses to improve you vision, or costume lenses to enhance your look.
You may not be a good candidate for contacts if you have:
- Frequent eye infections;
- Severe allergies;
- Dry eye that is resistant to treatment;
- A very dusty work environment; or
- An inability to handle and care for the lenses:
- Instruct you on appropriate contact lens care. Lenses that are not cleaned and disinfected increase the risk of eye infection.
- Advise how long costume contacts can remain on the eye. For instance, you should NEVER sleep in costume contact lenses.
Lenses that are not properly cleaned and disinfected increase the risk of eye infection. Any lens that is removed from the eye needs to be cleaned and disinfected before it is reinserted. Your eye care professional will discuss the best type of cleansing system for you, depending on the type of lens you use, any allergies you might have and whether your eye tends to form protein deposits.
Care of contact lenses includes cleaning their case, since it is a potential source of infection. The case should be rinsed with contact lens solution and allowed to air dry.
Homemade saline (salt water) solutions have been linked to serious corneal infections and should not be used.
Any eyedrops you use can interact with all types of contact lenses. It is best to avoid the use of eyedrops while wearing lenses, except for wetting drops recommended by your eye doctor.
Contact lenses should not be thought of as fashion accessories or makeup – they are medical devices that require a prescription from an eye care professional. The eyes are one of the most delicate and important parts of the body, so what you put in and on them must be medically safe and FDA-approved.
Many people buy these lenses to use as costume accessories to enhance their shops as well as online retailers actively market and advertise the lenses to innocent consumers unaware of the risks. These risks include dangerous infections that can lead to permanent vision loss and even require corneal transplants.