-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
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
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
lens safety tips.
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