WAOW, Wisconsin (WAOW) – As Halloween approaches and people prepare to dress up, experts warn to make sure they’re prescribed if you plan to use colored contacts.
Without that prescription, buying them is illegal and permanent damage can occur if not properly fitted.
“The contact fit must be perfect. No two eyes are the same,” said Jami Krupinski, Ophthalmology Manager at Wausau Eye Clinic.
Contacts are measured in tenths of a millimeter and can cause irritation if not properly fitted.
“It fits just a tenth of a millimeter and you just rub it in when you blink. The lens moves up and down under your eye every time. Rubbing creates open sores and ulcers in your eye,” he said. Krupinski.
Non-prescription colored contacts can be found online or at flea market stands, but they can be difficult to detect.
These contacts usually come from abroad, are unregulated and may contain harmful dyes, solutions, and other ingredients.
“When you contact us from overseas, you don’t get oxygen to your eyes. Every part of our body needs oxygen. We breathe, our skin needs oxygen, our eyes need oxygen.” said Krupinski.
For this reason, the FDA and CDC strictly regulate contact lenses. The eyes are a very sensitive organ in the body, and even a scratch while wearing non-prescription colored contacts can cause long-term problems.
‘It can lead to infections. Scarring can lead to blurred or blind vision,’ Krupinski said.
Whether someone wears contacts or not, anyone looking to get some is as simple as letting their doctor know and scheduling a visit.
“They sit you down with a doctor. It’s about an hour. They show you how to put them in and take them out properly,” Krupinski said.
Experts say it takes about six weeks to make and ship colored contacts, so it’s a good idea to plan accordingly.