Cosmetic Contact Lenses

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All contact lenses even cosmetic ones that only change your appearance require a prescription.

Anyone who sells you lenses without getting a copy of your prescription or verifying your prescription information with your prescriber is selling them illegally. That’s important because contacts that don’t fit can cause serious eye problems.

All Contacts Require a Prescription

Whether you’re planning to cap off a costume with a pair of cat-eye lenses, get the big-eye look of circle lenses, or switch your eye color from blue to violet for the day, cosmetic contacts contact lenses meant to change the way your eyes look rather than correct your vision may seem like just another fashion accessory.

But all contact lenses even cosmetic ones that only change your appearance require a prescription. Businesses that sell cosmetic lenses without getting a copy of your prescription or verifying your prescription information with your prescriber are selling them illegally.

 Why You Need a Prescription

Wearing any type of contact lenses before an eye care professional has examined your overall eye health and given you a proper contact lens fitting can lead to serious injuries or complications, like:

  • Pain and discomfort of the eyes;
  • Red or swollen eyes;
  • Blurred or decreased vision;
  • Corneal abrasion (cut or scratch on top layer of eye);
  • Allergic reactions (itchy, watery, red eyes);
  • Infection; and
  • Blindness

If you’re in the market for cosmetic contacts, see an eye care professional for an eye exam and prescription. Only buy contacts from sellers who require your prescription (or will verify it with your prescriber) and who sell FDA-approved contact lenses. Your sight may depend on it.

Getting Your Prescription

Your eye care provider has to give you a copy of your contact lens prescription, even if you don’t ask for it. You’re free to take it and buy your contacts elsewhere from an optometrist, an ophthalmologist, a dispensing optician, a specialty shop, large wholesale store, or online retailer.

To make shopping for contacts more efficient:

  • Get your prescription. You’re entitled to a copy of your prescription after your eye exam and lens fitting are complete (which could mean more than one appointment).
  • Keep your prescription. File it with your medical records and keep it current so you have it when you need it.
  • Send your prescription to the seller. You can buy contacts from a seller other than your eye care provider. Unless you send the seller a copy of your prescription to fill your order, the seller has to verify it with your eye care provider. This could take some time. You can start the verification process by giving the seller certain information about your prescriber, and your lenses – for example, the type of lenses, their manufacturer, power, base curve, and diameter.
Tagged with: eye care, prescription