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Having the right eyes for your cosplay outfit can be the difference between a good outfit and an amazing outfit. But that doesn’t mean you should just run to your local street vendor, costume store, or even a beauty supply store looking for color contact lenses. In the United States, contact lenses are regulated by the FDA and are considered medical devices.
Special effects contact lenses are definitely safe to wear, but that is if you follow the right steps and get them fitted and prescribed. If you are purchasing them within the United States and you are getting them without a valid prescription the chances are those contact lenses are not FDA approved. You may be wondering what’s the big deal? It’s not like your going to be wearing them all the time, But just because they are special effects contact lenses doesn’t mean you should be careless about where you are purchasing them from and how safe they are to put in your eyes.
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If you are purchasing contact lenses that are not FDA approved you have no idea if those lenses were made under sanitary conditions or if the solution they are sitting in is actually sterile. Bacteria could be lurking in those lenses and ready to be pressed up against your eyes.
Without a doctor’s exam and prescription, you also have no idea how well those lenses will fit on your eyes. Contact lenses are not a one size fit all and improperly fitting contact lenses could potentially cause irreversible damage.
Just because they are special effects contact lenses that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them the same way someone would care for contact lenses that are used to correct vision. Just like corrective lenses, special effects lenses carry the same risks if you improperly handle and care for them.
Before I tell you where you can find FDA approved special effects colored contact lenses that are sure to make your outfit standard out, I want you to understand the risks of wearing contact lenses, and that includes special effects contact lenses.
Risks of contact lenses
. Whenever you wear any type of contact lenses there are risks involved, but if you are caring for them properly and got them fitted correctly those risks are very low. Here are the risks.
- Corneal Abrasion – This is basically a scratch on your cornea. Most of these will heal on its own, but if you have a deeper abrasion it could lead to an ulcer or a serious eye infection.
- Infection – If you do not clean your contact lenses properly, or you don’t handle them properly you put yourself at a higher risk of developing an eye infection. Some bacterial infections can become very serious in as little as 24 hours.
- Allergic Reaction – This is a tricky one because it could potentially go two different ways. You could be allergic to the contact lenses themselves, or you could be allergic to the contact lens solution, Either way, it goes, this is a potential risk.
- Blindness – Although this is a worst-case scenario, there is definitely a potential risk of blindness caused by wearing contacts that are not fitted properly, not cared for properly, or overused.
While some of those risks may seem quite alarming, these risks are very low when you have your contact lenses fitted properly by a doctor and you follow proper handling and care techniques. If you ever find yourself sensitive to light, strange redness in your eyes, or changes in your vision, make sure to contact your eye care practitioner as soon as you can.
If you have never worn contact lenses before, take a look below for some tips for handling and caring for your contact lenses.
Caring for your contact lenses
Using proper handling and care techniques when using contact lenses is vital to keeping your eyes healthy. When you get your exam for contact lenses your doctor will provide you with instructions for caring for your contact lenses. Here are some recommendations your doctor will likely suggest.
- Wash Hands – This is definitely the most important step. Any contaminants that are on your hands could be transferred over to the contact lenses. Always wash your hands with soap that does not have oils, perfumes or lotions and dry your hands thoroughly with a lint-free cloth before handling your contact lenses.
- Check Contact Lenses For Damage – Before inserting your contact lenses always ensure that your lenses are clean and damage-free. Never insert a torn or ripped contact lens into your eye.
- Use Recommended Solution – Only use contact lens solution that is approved for your type of lenses. Your doctor will recommend the type of solution that you should be using depending on the type of contact lenses you wear. Never use soap & tap water to store or clean your contact lenses
- Keep Case Clean – This is another really important one. If you wear contacts in which you store in a case overnight, make sure that you keep your case clean and replace the case once every three months. You should be using a new solution to store your contacts every night and cleaning the case every day. Bacteria can easily build up in contact lens cases if you are not diligent about cleaning them.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you where you can find FDA approved special effects contact lenses so you can get that perfect look out of your cosplay outfit.
FDA approved colored contact lenses
When I think about novelty colored contact lense there is only one place that comes to mind which I truly trust and that place is Lens.com.
Lens.com is one of the leading online retailers when it comes to contact lenses. They are also one of the pioneers, founded in 1995 they are a New Orleans-based retailers with one of the best selections available out there. That includes their selection of special effects contact lenses which include over 100 different designs for you to pick from.
In this massive selection, you will find contact lenses that have been inspired by movies such as Star Wars, Twilight, Avatar, Underworld, and many more. You will also find lenses inspired by anime such as Naruto, Bleach, and more. Aside from movie and anime-inspired ones, you will also find a wide range of glow in the dark, cat eye, zombie, vampires, monsters, and other creepy characters.
Lens.com also carries the larger scleral contact lenses in which provides you with a larger contact lens that goes way beyond traditional contact lenses and gives you a much creepier look by covering the sclera which is the white part of your eye. These scleral lenses give you the ability to completely change your eye color such as making them completely black. Or make your pupils appear to be much larger.
If you need a prescription
If you require a prescription to correct your vision you will have to check each lens design that you are interested in to see if that specific lens design is available in your prescription parameters. Lenses that are available in a prescription, are available in the power ranges between +4.00 to -6.00.
If you have astigmatism, unfortunately, these lenses are not available in your prescription, however, you may be able to still wear non-prescription lenses for short periods of time. If your astigmatism is minor there is a chance you may be able to wear contact lenses without correction for astigmatism. Definitely, something you will want to chat with your eye care practitioner about to see which lenses will work for you.
Safety tips for using special effects colored contacts
Just as if you were wearing prescription contact lenses you will still need to follow the standard procedures for maintaining your contact lenses and keeping the contact lenses and the storage case clean.
You should also frequently change out the solution even if you are just storing the lenses and not using them. Here are a few other things you should keep in mind so you can keep your eyes healthy while using special effects contact lenses.
- Wearing Time – Be mindful of your wearing time, special effects contact lenses should not be and are not designed to be worn for extended periods of time. Therefore, you should really only be wearing them at max 8 hours, and absolutely no overnight wearing.
- Heavy Machinery – You should not be wearing these contact lenses if you are going to be operating any heavy machinery where good vision is required for safety. These can include things such as forklifts, cranes, cars, etc. Special effects contact lenses at times will distort your vision, especially your peripheral vision around the edges is particularly hard to see out of.
- No Sharing – Under no circumstances should you let a friend or family member try on your contact lenses. Aside from that being disgusting, eye infections can also be transferred from one person to another from doing something like that.
If you follow all the care and handling procedures the chances that you will have any complications is low. Now that you have a place to buy the contact lenses, you can spend the time finishing up the rest of the outfit.
If you are cosplaying I would love to see the final outfits, tag us on social media #eyehealthhq. If you have purchased special effects contact lenses from Lens.com before I would love to hear your experience, drop a comment below!