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Hiya

With Halloween coming up and me thinking I'll dress like a zombie of some kind, I've been thinking about novelty contact lenses. I always wear lenses for vision, and I've asked my optician about these novelty lenses before. She's always discouraged me from buying them, even though she sells them right there.

I know that not all novelty lenses, particularly those made for people who don't need vision correction and are literally just for kicks, are safe. But are they like inherently  more dangerous than normal lenses? If that's true, why is this? Surely if it's sold at reputable opticians, it's safe???

I'd love your opinions as I think these would really look cool!

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You will be happy to know that "crazy" contact lenses, "special effects" contact lenses, or "novelty" contact lenses, whatever you prefer to call them, are generally safe. The very important caveat here is that ALL contact lenses require a prescription in the US. Anyone selling lenses in the US without a prescription is breaking the law. Yes, even if you have 20/20 vision and only want the lenses for the looks.

As you know if you already wear lenses, there's different diameters and other aspects to them that definitely require fitting, not to mention that lenses need to live up to certain safety standards.

You can buy lenses online from reputable sources such as from Canada, which I have done, without worry, but only if you already have the correct prescription.

If your optician advises you against them, maybe you have certain issues that make them unsuitable for you? Contact lenses are not a one size fits all thing, after all!

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Well yeah

You want special lenses, you need to get a prescription from a reputable provider who will either give you an eye exam first or who already has your prescription because you already buy contact lenses from them.

If your optician says that they are no good for you, there is probably a reason for that and you should stay away from novelty contact lenses. I have 8.3 lenses for instance which are unusual so I get lenses called Pure Vision. Only very few providers make those lenses. I assume novelty lenses are out for me but I have never been interested so I don't know.
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Celebrity
478 posts

Hey,

I don't wear contact lenses for vision reasons and have never tried wearing them for cosmetic reasons, either. I did see a documentary in which a woman very nearly lost her eyesight after not keeping her contact lenses as clean as they need to be, in which it was mentioned that a large percentage of lens wearers does not take proper care of the hygiene of their lenses. They need to be cleaned, stored in a clean place, the fluid needs to be replaced all the time, and you need to take them out at certain intervals. You cannot safely swim with them either.

Having all that in mind, though I can see the appeal of special effects lenses, I would skip that as well and just focus on makeup and clothing. If you normally wear lenses but your healthcare provider recommended against these special lenses, I would listen to them as well. 

Rosie

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Thank you for asking this question! I don't wear lenses normally either, but would love to be able to change my eye color or make use of special effects sometimes, not just for Halloween but just for fun, any time I feel like it. I have also read blog posts that say that novelty contact lenses are not safe, but on the other hand you have people who wear them every day. I get that they are a medical product and you need a prescription and all that. I also assume that just like I know how to care for my teeth, I can learn how to take care of lenses!!!

If lenses are safe for people who need them for eyesight, surely they are safe for others as well, as long as they are properly manufactured, fitted, and cared for???
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Fashion contact lenses ARE SAFE provided that you get them from a LICENSED PROVIDER!!!

You should never buy your fashion contact lenses from street vendors, off the internet, from Halloween stores, from boutiques, and so on. If you buy them from an opticians while first getting a prescription though, there is absolutely no reason not to wear them.

The FDA makes this quite clear. The warning is against buying unsafe fashion contact lenses, not against buying contact lenses period, from anywhere. When done right, they are a fun and safe addition to your wardrobe.
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I know that some novelty lenses are bigger than normal lenses, covering not just the iris but the white of the eyes as well. I would imagine that these are tricky to put in and they definitely mess with the oxygen supply to your eyes. I am quite sure I read somewhere that you can only wear them for four hours at a time, which doesn't bode well for safety. I would stay away from those for sure.

That said there's smaller lenses which just have some extra tinting to cover your iris. I think as long as they are FDA approved you should be absolutely fine, of course get fitted for them properly and don't buy them off the internet without seeing an ophthalmologist.
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Oh, there are lenses like that too? I didn't know.
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