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The Dangers of Cosmetic Contact Lenses

Why Your Optometrist in College Station Warns Against Cosmetic Contact Lenses

Cosmetic contact lenses meant to change the color of your eyes or enhance your costumes could harm your eyes by producing keratitis (infection), conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers. Although it is illegal to sell nonprescription cosmetic contact lenses in the U.S. , you can still easily purchase them online or in novelty stores.

Since cosmetic contacts are not prescribed by an eye care professional and are not made by certified corrective lens laboratories, they may contain chemicals irritating or even toxic to your eye tissues. In addition, your optometrist in College Stations wants you to know that the "one size fits all" attribution to nonprescription cosmetic contact lenses is completely false.

Dangers of Ill-Fitting Cosmetic Contact Lenses

Corneal Abrasions/Ulcers

Prescription contact lenses fit the curvature of your eye perfectly to eliminate the risk of severe eye irritation and vision impairment.  Wearing store-bought cosmetic contact lenses that do not fit your eye's shape and unique curve may scratch your cornea and cause symptoms of a corneal abrasion -- pain, tearing, redness and light sensitivity. Corneal ulcers (open sores) often develop when a corneal abrasion becomes infected. Untreated corneal ulcers leave scars on your cornea and may seriously impair your vision.

Infections--Keratitis and Conjunctivitis

Your optometrist in College Station has treated numerous cases of conjunctivitis and keratitis resulting from patients wearing nonprescription cosmetic contact lenses. Because they do not fit your eyes properly, cosmetic contact lenses create spaces between the surface of your eye and the contact lens that allows bacteria and viruses to enter eye tissues. Signs of an eye infection include swelling, redness, a gritty feeling in the eyes, burning, itching and discharge. Eye infections are extremely contagious and require antibiotics to eliminate them.  

If you would like to wear cosmetic contact lenses for costume or aesthetic purposes, your College Station eye doctor strongly recommends making an appointment for a contact lens exam at Crystal Vision Center by calling 979-764-0669.

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