Rx Optical Blog Image Cosmetic Contacts 10.15.19

Cosmetic Contact Lenses and Your Eyes

Novelty cosmetic contact lenses seem to be all the rage around Halloween. Our team wants to make sure you have a safe holiday, no matter what you’re dressing as.

While these contact lenses might seem like a fun accessory for your costume, they can also hurt your vision.

In the spirit of a safe and fun Halloween, check out this quick FAQ about novelty cosmetic contact lenses, and learn how you can keep your vision safe this year.

Why do you need a prescription?

Did you know that in the United States, you have to have a prescription to order contact lenses? It’s illegal for a company to sell contacts to you unless you show them proof that you have a prescription from an eye doctor. That’s because the federal government classifies all contact lenses as medical devices, not just as accessories.

That means they have to be distributed by a licensed professional. So even if you just plan to use cosmetic or colored contacts for one night, you need a prescription from an eye care professional to purchase them.

This regulation ensures that there is oversight on novelty lenses. Without it, you’d be able to pick up lenses from anywhere, and that’s not safe at all.

What if you have 20-20 vision?

The prescription requirement might seem silly if you aren’t intending to purchase contacts for improved vision, but it’s more important than you think. That’s because there’s more to contacts than just clear vision. You have to think of safety.

Illegally sold lenses lack regulation, meaning they may not meet FDA standards. Those standards include a lack of sterilization or incorrect packaging, which can lead to huge problems for your vision. Non-prescription cosmetic lenses could even cut, scratch or infect your eye, which could result in permanent eye damage.

If you try to purchase contact lenses and you aren’t asked for proof of prescription, turn back! We know that the contacts might look cool, but the risks aren’t worth it at all!

Even if you do everything right, your eyes might still be irritated by the foreign object. In that case, remove the contacts immediately, call your eye doctor, and try some of these tricks for irritated and red eyes while you wait.

What about the fit?

If you get contacts that are made to fit your prescription, you are in good hands. When contacts are made to fit your prescription, that includes more than just the right power. Your contacts also fit the size and shape of your eye and are even made out of a material that suits you best.

Think of contact lenses like a pair of shoes. If they are too big or too small, the shoes cut into your heels and leave your feet irritated and uncomfortable. Contact lenses are similar, so they have to be the right fit for your eye.

Bonus tip: If you purchase cosmetic contact lenses with a prescription for a costume, be sure to still follow the standard rules of contact lens safety. Wash your hands before you apply your lenses and be sure to take them out before you go to bed. While you’re at it, remove all of your costume makeup before you hit the hay, too. Your eyes will thank you in the morning!

If you want colored or cosmetic contacts, visit an eye care professional like us for a prescription and an eye exam. Cosmetic contacts can be a fun way to add additional flare to your costume, as long as you acquire and wear them safely.

A swimmer with goggles surfaces from the water while text reads, "Swimming with contacts in should always be avoided to prevent bacteria from contaminating your eyes."

Contacts vs. The Ocean: Your Eyes and Spring Break

Spring only seems to exist for two weeks in the Midwest, thanks to never-ending snow, and that’s why us Michiganders love spring break more than anyone else! This week of bliss allows us to take a break from miserably cold weather and relax under the sun, with our feet in the sand. If you’re planning a trip down south to the ocean, we are sure you are packing essentials like sunscreen and sunglasses.

Are you also packing your contacts? The ocean and your contacts can be a dangerous mix at times, and we want to help you protect your vision and enjoy your vacation! Our expert team has compiled all the information you need to know in order to keep your eyes and contacts safe this spring break.

Swimming and Contacts

Swimming with contacts in should always be avoided to prevent bacteria from contaminating your eyes. According to the FDA, contacts should not be exposed to any kind of water, including tap water, pool water, and ocean water.

Water is home to many viruses, including the dangerous Acanthamoeba organism, which attaches to contact lenses and can cause the cornea to become infected and inflamed. This can cause permanent vision loss or require a corneal transplant to recover lost vision.

Other eye infections can occur when swimming with contacts, like a corneal ulcer. Corneal ulcers occur when a bacterial infection invades the cornea, and contact lens wearers are the most susceptible to eye irritation, as the lens may rub up against the eye’s surface.

But I Will Wear Goggles!

If you choose to wear contacts while swimming, you can reduce the risk of bacterial infection and irritation by wearing waterproof swim goggles. Swim goggles will help to keep your contact from leaving your eye when swimming.

However, the best way to prevent your eyes from becoming infected while swimming is by taking out your contacts before jumping into the water and putting on a pair of prescription goggles.

Contact Care After Ocean Water

So, you decided to wear your contacts while swimming. Our expert opticians recommend discarding the lenses immediately after swimming, rinsing your eyes with artificial tears, and replacing your contacts with a fresh pair.

If you experience eye irritation or sensitivity to light after wearing your contacts in the water, you need to call your eye doctor immediately.

Do you have more questions about swimming and contacts, or need tips on what eye care essentials to pack for your spring break trip? We would be happy to help you out! Visit one of our 54 locations or give us a call.

Have a safe and fun spring break!

 

 

Rx Optical Blog Halloween Eye Safety 10.19.18

Get Spooky: Halloween Costumes and Eye Safety

Fun costumes are one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween. Depending on the costume, sometimes it takes a bit of makeup and even crazy eyewear in order to fully pull off the look you’re going for. When you’re swept up in the excitement of dressing up, it is easy to forget about eye safety and the potential risks your costume may be creating.

Our treat to you this Halloween season is informing you of certain costume accessories that could cause you harm and potentially ruin your Halloween celebrations.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

October is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month, and, coincidently, a popular trend for enhancing Halloween costumes is cosmetic contact lenses. Cosmetic lenses can make quite a fashion statement, but when bought without a prescription at boutiques, tattoo parlors, and other nonprofessional retailers, they pose serious health risks.

All contact lenses, including prescription or cosmetic, are classified as medical devices and it is illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses without a prescription, because of the medical and health risks that this creates. Non-prescription costume contacts can cut, scratch, and infect your eye if they are not properly fitted. From this mis-sizing, corneal abrasions and bacterial infections are the most common injuries that occur. Unfortunately, treatment for these injuries can require surgery and sometimes the treatment does not work.

Why are costume lenses unsafe? The lenses are developed in a way that does not allow enough oxygen get through to the eye due to the paints and pigments used to create the colors in the cosmetic lens. There are about 13,000 emergency room cases each year due to the use of non-prescription cosmetic lenses.

How do you get safe, colored contact lenses? The only way to safely wear contact lenses is with a prescription. Our Optometrists would be happy to determine your prescription and contact fit at an eye exam. If cosmetic lenses will complete your Halloween costume, be sure to go the safe route and schedule an eye exam.

Costume Makeup, Paint, and Glitter

Makeup, paint, and glitter are quite common when it comes to Halloween costume essentials, but these also all pose a risk. It is important that when using costume makeup, paint, or glitter, you test a small area before placing the makeup on the entire face. It is especially important with costume makeup to keep it away from the eyes and eye area so that they eyes are protected from any irritation or stinging and burning.

After the costume comes off, don’t forget to take off your makeup, too. No matter how tired you are, the irritation from costume makeup can cause infection if left on for too long, so don’t go to sleep without washing your face. Be sure to look for swelling, rashes, and irritation on the face or around the eyes the day after the makeup is applied.

Masks and Accessories

Watch out for any costume items that could penetrate or scratch the eye. Think plastic masks that could break into the eye or tripping while carrying a prop sword. Any accessory or prop you use should be soft, flexible, and short, in order to avoid injury to the eye.

Signs of Infection

After your celebrations, watch out for these signs of infection:

  • Unexplained eye discomfort or pain
  • Redness of the eye and/or discharge
  • Watering eyes
  • Vision changes

Want to learn more about safe Halloween costume practices or interested in setting up an eye exam to get a prescription for colored contact lenses? Give our office a call or schedule your appointment online. One of our doctors would be more than happy to assist in your fun and safe Halloween!

Whether your child is wearing glasses or contacts, it is important that they are Comfortable and Feel Confident.

Kids and Contacts: When Can They Wear Them?

As stylish as our frames are, at Rx Optical we know that your child may be itching to throw out their glasses and start wearing contacts. Deciding whether or not your child is ready for contacts can be a tough decision to make. A great first step, as always, is consulting one of our doctors. Before scheduling your appointment, check out a few of our tips and suggestions when it comes to kids and contacts.

GLASSES, CONTACTS, OR BOTH?
If your child is an athlete or struggling with self-esteem due to their glasses, contacts are a great alternative that will maintain their vision and likely make them feel more comfortable. Alternating between glasses and contacts is a good way to ease into contact use. New contact users sometimes experience dry eyes or irritation, so it is important to keep glasses handy. Glasses may still be a good option for your child when they are relaxing at night, reading, or doing homework.

START THE CONVERSATION
Vision is extremely important to your child’s overall well-being and success in life, so if you have noticed that your child has stopped wearing their glasses, it may be time to explore contacts as an option. Whether it is for fashion, comfort, sports, or self-esteem, it is important to understand why your child wants to make the switch. If you and your child come to the decision that it is time to switch to contacts, one of our knowledgeable doctors can sit down with both of you and talk through the pros and cons of contacts.

If the main reason your child wants contacts is to feel more comfortable when playing sports, consult an Rx Optical doctor about prescription sports glasses.

THE BEST AGE
There is no standard age for children to start wearing contacts, however most doctors prefer to start prescribing contacts after the age of 10. For most kids, it depends on their level of maturity and need for contacts. Since contacts require delicate care and can be difficult, or even intimidating, for first-time users, it is typically easier to make the switch when your child is closer to their teen years.

RESPONSIBILITY
Just like glasses, contacts require care. There are two kinds of contacts: dailies and monthlies. According to the American Optometric Association , most doctors like to prescribe daily contacts to younger patients, as they require less responsibility. Monthlies are typically better suited for older patients who can keep track of, and carefully clean, their contacts.

Whether your child is wearing glasses or contacts, it is important that they are comfortable and feel confident. If you think your child may be ready to shift over to contacts, come visit one of our 54 locations and speak with one of our doctors. Your child’s vision is as important to us as it is to you. We hope to see you soon!

Posted by news@834design.com at 8:40 AM

Thinking about contacts?

CONTACTS ON THE DAILY: THE CONVENIENCE FACTOR

Whether you are into extreme sports or just enjoy getting your sweat on at hot yoga, contacts can absolutely make your life easier. However, they can also be a hassle. A lot of patients struggle with day-to-day care of their lenses and contacts often become cloudy, torn, and dirty. Daily disposables are a convenient and affordable solution that is also better for your eyes.

At Rx Optical, we always prescribe the latest contact lens technologies so that you can be confident that you will have the most comfortable contact lens wearing experience.

Dailies eliminate the inconvenience of cleaning and storing your contacts. Life is busy and your contacts need to work for you. With disposables you just pop the contacts in when you wake up and toss them at the end of the day. The convenience is a given, but there are also considerable health benefits surrounding dailies. Replacing your contact lenses regularly will keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.

Even if you plan to use daily disposables most of the time, keep your eye glass prescription up to date. We definitely recommend balancing your contact wear with your glasses to keep your eyes healthy and happy.

Check out our latest contact brands here and schedule an appointment with us today!

Disclaimer:

Choosing the right contact lens is a decision you should make with your doctor. Whether you are an experienced contact wearer or first-timer, scheduling a contact lens exam is the first step in getting your hands on some daily disposables. At Rx Optical, our doctors recommend and prescribe the latest contact lens technologies so that you can be confident that you will have the most comfortable contact lens wearing experience.