Buying Contact Lenses Without Prescription Illegal

Blindness and Vision Loss

Author: American Optometric Association
Published: 2014/10/08 - Updated: 2020/12/12
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: FDA classifies contact lenses as medical devices and purchasing them, even decorative colored lens, without a prescription is illegal. Eye doctors are growing increasingly concerned about how accessible decorative contact lenses are and the risks for consumers who purchase them illegally on the Internet... Wearing illegally purchased decorative contact lenses can result in bacterial infections, allergic reactions, or even significant damage to the eye's ability to function...

Introduction

In recent years, more Americans have been using decorative contact lenses to alter the appearance or color of the eyes. These contact lenses are often used as a costume accessory to change a person's eye color or create an effect and have become increasingly popular around Halloween. These non-corrective, decorative lenses pose the same potential safety and health issues as corrective contact lenses and should only be acquired with a prescription from an eye doctor.

Main Digest

All contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and require a valid prescription.

Eye doctors are growing increasingly concerned about how accessible decorative contact lenses are and the risks for consumers who purchase them illegally on the Internet, at flea markets, off-the-shelf in retail or drug stores, and even on the street. The American Optometric Association (AOA) has collaborated with the FDA and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) to help educate consumers about the importance of acquired lenses only with a valid prescription from an eye doctor.

"Decorative contact lenses may seem like a fun accessory, but if you're not careful, they can cause serious eye and vision problems," advises Thomas Quinn, O.D., AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) chair. "Unfortunately, many consumers mistakenly believe they don't need a prescription for decorative contact lenses that do not provide vision correction. It's extremely important that consumers get an eye exam and only wear contact lenses, with or without vision correction, that are properly fitted and prescribed by an eye doctor."

According to the AOA's 2014 American Eye-Q consumer survey, 11 percent of consumers have worn decorative, non-corrective contact lenses and of those, 53 percent purchased them illegally without a prescription. Wearing illegally purchased decorative contact lenses can result in bacterial infections, allergic reactions, or even significant damage to the eye's ability to function, which could lead to irreversible sight loss.

"Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when used properly," says Dr. Quinn. "A medical eye and vision examination from your optometrist can determine if you are a good candidate for wearing contact lenses, regardless of whether they provide vision correction or not. During the exam, your eye doctor will make sure your lenses fit properly and teach you how to safely care for your lenses."

AOA eye doctors point to common mistakes made by patients when it comes to handling contact lenses, including:

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its significant relevance to the disability community. Originally authored by American Optometric Association, and published on 2014/10/08 (Edit Update: 2020/12/12), the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity. For further details or clarifications, American Optometric Association can be contacted at aoa.org. NOTE: Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

Related Publications

Share This Information To:
𝕏.com Facebook Reddit

Page Information, Citing and Disclaimer

Disabled World is a comprehensive online resource that provides information and news related to disabilities, assistive technologies, and accessibility issues. Founded in 2004 our website covers a wide range of topics, including disability rights, healthcare, education, employment, and independent living, with the goal of supporting the disability community and their families.

Cite This Page (APA): American Optometric Association. (2014, October 8 - Last revised: 2020, December 12). Buying Contact Lenses Without Prescription Illegal. Disabled World. Retrieved July 20, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/vision/contacts.php

Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/vision/contacts.php">Buying Contact Lenses Without Prescription Illegal</a>: FDA classifies contact lenses as medical devices and purchasing them, even decorative colored lens, without a prescription is illegal.

Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified medical care. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.