Are Specialty Contacts Dangerous?

Image of colored contacts.

Specialty contact lenses are a fun way to change your eyes to look like your favorite entertainer or to create a spectacular costume. Specialty contacts, sometimes called decorative, fashion or theater contact lenses, temporarily change the look of your eyes without correcting your vision. Eye care professionals can prescribe specialty contact lenses that fit well and look amazing. Wearing specialty contacts without a prescription, however, can be dangerous.

Specialty Contacts Safety

Health regulators warn that buying contact lenses without a prescription is dangerous. Contact lenses are medical devices; incorrect use or poorly fitting contacts can cause real damage to eyes. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all contact lens,” as eyes vary slightly in size and shape from person to person.

All contact lenses, including specialty contacts, can pose a danger when they do not fit the wearer correctly. Poorly fitting contacts can scratch the surface of the eye or even cause blood vessels to grow into the cornea, which is the transparent window covering the front of the eye. Improper use and care of specialty contacts may lead to painful eye infections that cause blurred vision and require weeks of medication. Damage to the eye may be permanent and affect lifelong vision.

You may be tempted to leave specialty contacts in too long, especially in cases where you are wearing them as a disguise or as part of theatrical makeup. If you do not wear contact lenses regularly, you may not be aware of the signs telling you that it is time to take out your lenses. To reduce your risk for eye damage, remove your lenses if you notice signs like red eyes, swelling, excessive discharge, or pain in or around your eyes.

You can reduce your risk for eye problems associated with specialty contacts by taking a few precautions, such as:

• Getting a prescription from a licensed eye care professional
• Asking your eye care professional for instructions on inserting, taking out, and caring for your contact lenses, and following these instructions
• Purchasing contact lenses only from an eye product dealer who requests a prescription
• Never sharing specialty contacts with others
• Removing contacts at the first sign of trouble
• Getting regular follow-up exams with a licensed eye care professional

Source:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Decorative Contact Lenses." 2014.

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Please be advised that although all offices are open on Monday's, we do have limited staff in all 3 locations.

Beaverton Location

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Hillsboro Location (Imbrie Dr)

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Hillsboro Location (First Ave)

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have been a patient of Sunset Vision Center the last couple of years, and I have always had a great experience here. The staff is extremely nice and always try to do the best for you by considering your budget and insurance requirements. At the Imbrie Drive location, Vanessa (who is awesome) explained what I can look for when choosing various frames and the differences between frames. Leo is also amazing and helped me decide the best frame keeping in mind the insurance coverage. The doctors always do a great job, and my prescription has fixed any specific vision issues I had."
    Arun V.
  • "I highly recommend sunset vision center! My appointment scheduling was smooth and the knowledge of the staff was exceptional! I had a lot of questions concerning eyeglasses and sunglasses and I was very impressed with the compassion they had for me while I was trying to make a decision!

    VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND CARING STAFF!!

    THANK YOU SUNSET VISION CENTER!!"
    Kelley H.
  • "Went here to renew my prescription and the amazing staff made it quick and easy. I would recommend Sunset Vision Center to anyone, they are really nice and are more than happy to work with your insurance!"
    Trevor W.