Contact Lenses for Cosplayers: Eye Doctor Advice and Some Warnings By Gordon Wong, OD on June 01, 2024

Cosplayer putting on a costume contact lens

The vibrant, realistic costumes at San Diego Comic-Con are one of the true highlights of the world-famous event. Colored contact lenses often take these costumes to the next level. Unfortunately, these lenses can be dangerous when not administered by optometrists.

To make sure your cosplay is awesome and safe, read this short blog post. If you have more questions about custom or specialty contact lenses, reach out for my help in La Jolla or Del Mar, CA.

It Is Illegal to Sell Non-Prescription Costume Lenses

Online retailers, beauty salons, and Halloween stores all sell non-prescription colored contact lenses. All of these vendors are selling these illegally. 

The only people in America that are allowed to sell costume lenses are doctors who provide prescription colored lenses. This applies even if you have perfect vision and do not need contacts to improve your sight.

Non-Prescription Lenses Are Not Safe

In 2019, the Journal of Women’s Health published a study assessing the impact of cosmetic contact lenses on almost 200 women who wore them. The majority of users experienced some type of complications. These included pain, itchiness, and swollen eyes.

Other risks of cosmetic contact lenses include corneal abrasions and corneal ulcers. In especially severe cases, a wearer can develop a severe bacterial infection known as keratitis that can lead to blindness.

Never Buy Without a Prescription

Even if you have an active contact lens prescription, there are various issues you need to watch out for when purchasing online. You should never purchase lenses from any retailer that does not ask for your prescription. If they don’t care about the specifics of your eyes, they do not care about your personal safety.

Buying any lenses from a retailer that is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is incredibly risky. No matter how many good reviews a lens may have, there is no way for you to know that what you are buying is safe for you to wear.

I Can Make Sure Your Costume Lenses Are Safe

Comic-Con attendees come to my La Jolla eye center or Del Mar vision office because I take several steps to ensure safe wearing. At an appointment with me, I can measure your eyes to make sure your costume lenses fit properly.

I can also double-check that you are a good candidate for colored lenses. Sometimes, I may catch issues that may make wearing these dangerous, allowing you to avoid unnecessary risk.

I can also provide a variety of safety tips so you can cosplay with confidence. I will teach you crucial contact care practices like how to properly clean, disinfect, and place your lenses.

Depending on the needs of your cosplay, I may also be able to order the specialty lenses for you, ensuring that you do not have to deal with retailers that aren’t supposed to sell contact lenses.

Request Your Contact Lens Consultation

My practice was opened in 2002. For the more than two decades since, I have been offering exceptional care to all kinds of eyewear patients from San Diego, La Jolla, and Carmel Valley. As a member of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, I stay at the forefront of safe optometrical practices. I also have years of expertise in specialty contact lenses.

Reach out to my practice today so I can ensure your Comic-Con experience is as safe and fun as possible.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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