“Can I Wear Zombie Contact Lenses After LASIK?”
Question – Zombie Contacts?
This question was asked in a recent call from a happy (and wise) patient who had iLASIK at WGECC two years ago. She said she LOVES her iLASIK vision and does not want to do anything unsafe; so, she wanted to know if Zombie contact lenses purchased online were safe to wear??
Scary Answer –
Even if you have never had eye surgery, the answer to this question is the same for everyone… Not no, but HECK NO !!!
Do Not wear any contact lenses not prescribed and dispensed by an eyecare professional! Costume contact lenses from someone other than an eyecare professional put you at risk of pain, redness, corneal infection, corneal ulcer and even possible blindness. (And yes, we have seen this here in Columbus…!) Thankfully, the patient called to ask before she put her eye health at risk. The question was a great reminder that it is the time of year to issue a safety message about costume contact lenses!
Frightening Consequences –
Portraying characters may be enhanced by making the eyes more authentic to the part, but costuming can quickly turn into a truly scary situation if you choose the wrong contact lenses. Non-prescription, appearance enhancing contacts are increasing in availability and so are emergency visits to the ophthalmologist for problems related to them! Here are a few guidelines for safe cat or zombie eye effects from the FDA’s Consumer Update page. According to their advice, you should follow 4 steps important steps:
• Get an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist), even if you feel your vision is perfect.
• Only use a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date.
• Don’t buy anime or circle lenses—and don’t expect your eye doctor to prescribe them. These bigger-than-normal lenses that give the wearer a wide-eyed, doll-like look have not been cleared by the FDA because they cover the important stem cells that are necessary for good vision.
• Buy the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription, whether you purchase them in person or shop online.
Spooky but Safe…
Take note that the number one safety requirement for costume contact lenses is an eye exam! Only a licensed eye doctor can fit you safely for contact lenses. The internet offers $20 contact lenses for sale without a doctor’s prescription. That is beyond scary! Beware of what may appear to be a big savings because the end cost may be frightening. Emergency doctor’s visits, pain, blurred vision, prescriptions, and possibly eye surgery can take all the fun out of Halloween.
Don’t take the risk because while it may be spooky, your Halloween should always be safe!