Contact lenses are not only used to see well, but also to “see” well. You can imitate Marilyn Manson with her white eye, have green eyes for a night out, or radically change the look with a deep black look. You can do all this with contact lenses, but if you neglect you can also make an “evil eye” to yourself and affect your vision.
Until recently, colored contact lenses, which were used only for cosmetic purposes, were over-the-counter products. Also known as “flat” or “non-corrective” contact lenses, they were sold in beauty salons and supermarkets, or even in the most unusual places such as flea markets and record stores. And when Halloween came, they sold like hot cakes to complete the vampire costume or achieve a tiger look.
But they became so popular and accessible that many people began to buy and use them indiscriminately as if they were colored wigs, forgetting that they were not only an ornament, but were originally a medical device to correct vision problems. And many seemed to forget the most important thing of all, that contact lenses touched one of the most delicate parts of the body: the cornea of the eye!
Potential hazards of contact lenses
Contact lenses (whatever they may be) can seriously affect your eyes when they are not put on correctly, when they are worn for longer than indicated or when they do not fit properly to the cornea of your eyes. And what is more serious and more common, when not cleaned properly, introduce all kinds of impurities and bacteria directly to your eyes. All this can cause serious health problems such as conjunctivitis, abrasions or ulcers on the cornea, and even blindness.
For that reason the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) decided to regulate its sale since 2005. Now all contact lenses, although used only by vanity, have to be purchased by prescription by law.
Yes, to buy colored contact lenses you need a prescription . If you do not have a trusted optometrist or ophthalmologist, many optical stores have trained personnel to do the exam and give you a prescription. That recipe should give you the exact measurements and the brand of lens you need. This way you can be sure that the lens fits your eyes specifically and that your brand meets all the quality requirements to protect your eyes.
It is also important that you buy the lenses only in a place of trust, where they require a prescription and give you exactly the contact lenses you need. If you do not want to buy the lenses at the place where you took the exam, you have the right to request a copy of the prescription and use it to buy at another establishment.
And finally, the FDA recommends that you follow the instructions for hygiene and use that are contained in the packaging of contact lenses.
Hygiene recommendations for contact lenses
Some general indications are:
- Wash your hands before touching contact lenses
- Never clean lenses with saliva, tap water, bottled water or saline solution prepared at home. The optometrist or ophthalmologist can recommend the best solution to clean the lenses and to disinfect them if they are not disposable.
- Keep the lens case clean and dry, and change it every six months.
- If you need eye drops while you are wearing contact lenses, ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist to tell you which ones you can use.
- If you use makeup, ask your doctor if it is safe for your glasses.
- Never use the lenses for longer than indicated on the package and take them off when you go swimming, washing your face or sleeping.
This way you will avoid getting an infection or any other more serious disease in your eyes. You already know that wearing glasses is not simply a fashionable subject and that it is not worthwhile to put your eyes at risk just for vanity.
A lot of eye with the lenses!