Adults and children alike usually wear them on Halloween or other special occasions like weddings. They can add this extra flair where needed without being too overbearing since they come with different colors. They are a staple for seasoned cosplayers. Besides transforming the color of your eyes, costume (colored/decorative) contact lenses can help you achieve specific types of looks. They help you mimic famous characters in pop culture, particularly for avid gamers and anime fans. Costume contact lenses are a fun way to spice up any outfit. But it’s worthwhile to ask, are colored contact lenses safe?
Table of contents
- Are Colored Contacts Safe In General?
- ISO13485, FDA Approval & CE Mark
- Are Colored Contact Lenses Safe Without Valid Prescription?
- The Risks Without Valid Prescription
- Are Colored Contact Lenses From Online Sellers Safe?
- Is High Quality = Safe?
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Are Colored Contacts Safe In General?
Because they come in direct contact with your eyes, they are unlike any other costume wear or item. So it’s important not to treat costume contact lenses like a party prop, but something that could affect your wellbeing.
In order to properly verify their safety, you have to know if they are officially certified and get the right prescription from a medical professional.
Ask yourself if they are manufactured under ISO13485 and certified by local authorities. Do they receive the Conformité Européenne (CE) Mark and U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval?
ISO13485, FDA Approval & CE Mark
ISO13485 is a quality management systems (QMS) standard. It ensures that medical devices comply with a specified baseline level of quality.
The FDA actually considers them medical devices and regulates them. FDA approval means that a product has undergone extensive testing and satisfies all safety requirements. The FDA certifies that products were made in accordance with stringent standards set out by the American Medical Association (AMA) rules and regulations.
The CE mark, on the other hand, helps showcase that goods fall within compliance of European quality assurance standards. CE labelling verifies compliance with particular EU directives that encompass everything from health care equipment to building materials.
Those exist so that consumers have peace of mind when making a purchase. However, the decision is still very much up to them whether or not they want to purchase colored contact that have those official markers of safety compliance.
It’s good to make sure that the lenses you want are officially certified. You then have to consult an eye care professional to get a proper prescription. This is true even for those who do not need lenses with power for impaired vision.
Choose The Right Specification
Some of the factors to consider to choose to right lens. The best ones for you depend on what your eye doctor prescribes to you. Here are 4 things to make sure you cover when getting the right specifications from him or her:
- Water content: When contacts dry up, they draw moisture from their atmosphere. There are practical differences between contacts with varying water levels. In any case, all lenses need to be regularly hydrated to maintain eye health.
- Material type: There are important differences between hard lenses and soft lenses. Between soft lenses, there are those of PolyHEMA hydrogel material and silicone hydrogel. Although the latter is more advanced, PolyHEMA remains suitable for many.
- Center thickness: Lens thickness matters. While thin lenses offer better oxygen permeability, they dry up more easily. The optimal thickness for you is contingent upon individual needs.
- Oxygen permeability: Contact lenses need to always allow sufficient oxygenation to keep eyes ‘breathing’. Corneal hypoxia (discussed in a later section) occurs when eyes are deprived of oxygen.
Hence it’s important to know the risks of choosing the wrong ones, when people use them for many occasions. Not all contacts are made equal: some foreign substances could cause harm if added to your eye canal. You wouldn’t want any infections either!
Are Colored Contact Lenses Safe Without Valid Prescription?
If you have vision correction needs or sensitive eyes, you need a prescription from an authorized eye care professional. Wearing the wrong size of contact lens may not worsen your vision but definitely will cause discomfort.
Find one who’s certified in ophthalmology (the study, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of diseases related to visual function).
Go to their office for consultation, rather than into one’s local pharmacy with doubts about legality. This will allow time spent together lead to informed purchase decisions.
It can be quite tricky though. Even if you do have a prescription from your eye doctor or optometrist, they may not carry the color that you want. And if you’ve found what you want with the right prescription, the lenses typically come with a higher price than regular alternatives without a prescription.
The Risks Without Valid Prescription
If a person does not have a prescription for contact lenses, they may eventually suffer from dry eyes. This is no trivial matter.
When the eyes don’t have enough moisture, they don’t make enough tears to keep them wet and healthy. The result? Corneal hypoxia resulting from lack of oxygen to the eyes. The symptoms include irritation, pain, and/or inflammation, which can lead to blindness if left unchecked for long periods of time.
In order to ensure that their eyes are well care for, contact lens wearers need to do their homework. Sure, it helps to check out forums, articles and videos online to learn about what works and what doesn’t. But the most important step is for contacts wearers to often check with their doctor about the right specifications for them.
What If I Have Perfect Eyesight?
Yes, you still need to get a valid prescription, because you will need to determine your base curve & diameter. “One size fits all” colored contact lenses don’t exist.
We suggest having your eyes checked by an eye doctor so that they can determine what size lenses you need (if any).
If perfect vision isn’t something that comes easily, it’s important to get one pair of glasses or contact lenses before ordering another. If your prescription lenses are done incorrectly, you can still fall back on reliable spares.
Are Colored Contact Lenses From Online Sellers Safe?
Besides that, are colored contacts lenses from online sellers safe? You want to make sure you don’t purchase illegal or counterfeit contacts that could harm the health and vision of your eyeballs.
Many of the widely available and cheap costume contact lenses you can get in the market today are likely unsafe. They can cause serious damage to your eyes. You have to be careful when opting for more outrageous looks using sclera contacts, screen lenses as well as split pupil designs.
How do you ensure that contact lenses bought online are safe? First of all, you should always buy from sellers who have been in the market for a long time and have good reviews. Next, ensure that the seller sells products which meet ISO standards and also have CE Mark as well as FDA approval.
Is High Quality = Safe?
How would you know if a pair of contact lenses are high quality? Comfort is definitely a factor. They will not irritate your eye while still giving you a great look for Halloween parties, fashion shows or other special events.
You should be able to wear them all day long if you want to because they do not hurt your eye at all. In fact, good costume contact lenses should be versatile as well, so much so that you can choose to wear them even when going out for dinner or shopping!
High quality contact lenses may not necessarily be safe. Still, it all depends on the individual. It is crucial for the wearer to practice hygiene in order to keep their contacts healthy and clean so they can wear them with peace of mind.
You can read more common problem wearing contact lenses in our Help Center
This is why it’s important to consult friends who have experience with buying high quality lenses. Experienced ones will let you know if any pair of colored contact lenses are safe for your eyes. Otherwise you can browse forum boards online and watch video reviews of both hobbyists and eye care experts so that you would know what to look out for.
If you want to purchase a pair of contact lenses from Uniqso, you can refer to our Rx / prescription verification process here.