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Only buy decorative lenses with a prescription

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Only buy decorative lenses with a prescription

Only buy decorative lenses with a prescription

  1. Trisha Korioth, Staff Writer
Teens may be anxious to buy decorative contact lenses to make a fashion statement or as a Halloween costume accessory. But  they may not realize they need a prescription and must be fitted by an eye care professional.

Actors and musicians with decorative contact lenses are everywhere, it seems. From Lady Gaga to Twilight, changing the look  of their eyes with decorative contact lenses is the latest craze. As Halloween nears, costume shops begin to sell the contacts, too.  There are plenty of styles to choose from: colored lenses, shapes, spirals, even white. But most people do not know that  these lenses are not legal. They have dye in them that can cause problems. One size does not fit everyone. This can stop air  from getting to the eye, and trap germs underneath.

Anyone who wants to wear decorative lenses should get them from an eye care professional and be measured first. The eye doctor  will write a prescription for lenses that are made to fit your eyes. These contacts are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Contacts that are bought from a store or online without a prescription are not. Wearing these decorative contacts can cause:

  • a scratched eye (corneal abrasion),

  • infections from bacteria, viruses, parasites or funguses, and

  • allergic reactions.

Some problems can cause blindness in hours.

Parents should keep an eye on any child who wears contacts, decorative or prescription. Problems include redness and pain, light sensitivity, and tearing or drainage from the eye, said Dr. Steinemann. “If it hurts, get it out and see an eye care professional right away.”

© 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics. This Parent Plus may be freely copied and distributed with proper attribution.

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