SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, July 24, 2014
TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Decorative contact lenses may seem like a fun accessory, but if you're not careful, they can cause serious eye damage.
Decorative contacts should be fitted properly by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It's important to get an eye exam and a valid prescription for these lenses and buy them from a trustworthy seller, the FDA cautioned.
To spread the word about the potential health risks associated with decorative contact lenses, the FDA joined forces with the American Optometric Association (AOA), and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC). The three groups offered guidance on how to use these lenses safely. Their recommendations include:
"I think if I were to leave anybody with a piece of advice on contact lenses, it would be yeah, they're fun. They can be fantastic," Scott Smiledge of Eye Inc FX, a supplier of hand-painted contact lenses for professional production in the film and television industry, said in an FDA news release.
"Just make sure you do it the right way. Make sure that you're buying from a place that is following the rules and you're buying lenses that have been handled properly. And that your eye doctor knows about and approves of it," he added.
Despite following these precautions, using decorative lenses can still lead to a serious infection. In extreme cases, blindness may occur.
Anyone who uses these lenses and develops any of the following symptoms should visit their eye doctor right away:
These recommendations on decorative contact lenses were published on the FDA's Consumer Updates page.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about contact lens safety tips.