Dangers of Decorative Contact Lenses (Article)



Decorative contact lenses are becoming a common fashion accessory for many children and young adults. With the holidays and parties just around the corner, it is important to discuss the dangers of decorative contact lenses. For parents who do not know, wearing these contact lenses can change your child’s eye color to make them any color or configuration they would like.  They are becoming all the rage but before you or your child step out with this new look, there is some important information you need to know:


The Risks

Wearing any type of contact lens can seriously damage your eyes if used incorrectly. Injuries include:

  • Cut/scratch on top layer of the eyeball (corneal abrasion)
  • Allergic reactions such as red, watery, itchy eyes
  • Decreased vision
  • Blindness
  • Infection
    • Signs of possible eye infection:
      • Redness
      • Extended eye pain
      • Decreased vision

NOTE: If your child has any of these symptoms, he or she needs to see an eye doctor immediately! An eye infection can cause serious vision loss if it is not treated.


Dos and Don’ts of Contact Lenses

  • Do get an eye exam: An eye doctor will examine your eyes to make sure the contact lenses fit properly—a wrong fit can damage your eyes. Be sure to always go for follow-up eye exams.
  • Do get a prescription: Your eye doctor will write you a prescription for all contact lenses, including decorative lenses.
  • Do follow the contact lens care instructions for wearing, cleaning, and disinfecting the lenses
  • Do seek medical attention right away and remove your contact lenses if your eyes show signs of infection!
  • Don’t share your contact lenses with anyone else!
  • Don’t buy any contact lenses without a prescription!


How to buy Decorative Contact Lenses

Only buy contact lenses from a company that sells FDA-cleared or approved contact lenses and requires you to provide a prescription. Anyone selling you contact lenses must get your prescription and verify it with your doctor. They should request not only the prescription, but also the name and phone number of your doctor. Remember, buying contact lenses without a prescription is dangerous!


It’s your job to make sure you protect you and your children’s eyes by:

  1. Having an eye exam
  2. Getting a prescription
  3. Buying contact lenses from a legal source.


Decorative contact lenses can be a fun as long as they are bought and worn safely!  Happy holidays!


Your comments are welcome at my blog, www.docsmo.com.  When you are there, take a few moments to look at some of the literally hundreds of posts on the blog. Until next time.


Smo Notes:






Written collaboratively by Abigail Doelger and Paul Smolen M.D.