Americans might be putting their vision at risk by wearing decorative contact lenses that were purchased without prescriptions and through illegal means such as online shops, salons, markets, and other unlicensed sellers. In a recent article published on their website, the American Optometric Association had this to say on the matter:

About 1 in 10 Americans report having worn decorative, plano contact lenses, and of those, more than half obtained them without a prescription from their eye doctor, according to the AOA’s 2014 American Eye-Q® consumer survey.

Plano lenses are often distributed directly to consumers illegally through sources such as salons, flea markets or via the Internet, and this is a significant concern.

“A significant percent of the public believes that contact lenses without correction do not require a prescription,” states Thomas Quinn, O.D., CLCS chair.

“Plano decorative contact lenses, like any other contact lens used improperly, can cause significant damage including corneal swelling, eye infection and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit. These issues can result in a reduction of visual acuity, diminished contrast sensitivity, or reduced peripheral vision and other eye and vision impairments. These issues have little to do with the contact lens strength.”

CLCS urges patient education on contact lenses
Decorative contact lenses, which are also known as plano lenses, are those that simply change the color or design of the wearer’s eyes, without the capability to correct vision. Since these accessories are not required for health reasons such as correcting eyesight problems, many people all over the country assume that it is not necessary to contact health professionals such as Indianapolis eye doctors to get proper prescriptions before purchasing these lenses.

The nonchalant stance of those who wear decorative contact lenses may lead to a host of eye problems down the road. Illegally purchased lenses can cause conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers and scratches, vision impairment, or even blindness. For those in the area, consulting with eye doctors in Indianapolis is a wise course of action to ensure the health of their vision while also satisfying their desire for fashionable lenses.

As long as a patient’s eyes are in reasonably good condition, it would not be difficult to secure medical approval to wear these accessories; people can approach established practices such as Moody Eyes in Indianapolis to get a prescription for decorative contact lenses. Since vision is one of the most important human senses, it is vital that its care be entrusted only to established eye health professionals with proven track records.

(Source: CLCS urges patient education on contact lenses, American Optometric Association, September 9, 2014)