CDPH Warns Consumers about Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses
Date: October 24, 2017
SACRAMENTO – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today warned consumers about the risks associated with wearing decorative contact lenses.
"Advertised as color, cosmetic, fashion and theatrical contact lenses, decorative contact lenses are especially popular around Halloween." said Dr. Smith. "Wearing any kind of contact lens, including decorative lenses, without proper consultation of an eye care professional can cause serious injury."
The sale of contact lenses without a prescription is illegal. The California Department of Consumer Affairs' (DCA) through the California State Board of Optometry, licenses optometrists and registers dispensing opticians, optical shops, and contact lens dispensers. DCA through the Medical Board of California licenses ophthalmologists.
Decorative contact lenses are intended to temporarily change the appearance of the eye, but do not correct vision. "The risks include infection, ulcers, decreased vision, cuts or scratches to the surface of the eye, itchiness or redness. If these conditions are left untreated, the injuries can progress rapidly. In severe cases, blindness and eye loss can occur," said Dr. Smith.