The FDA Says These Are the One Kind of Contacts You Should Never Use

If you're using these lenses, your vision could be damaged permanently, the authority says.

If putting in your contacts is as essential a part of your morning routine as your first cup of coffee, you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 45 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses.

However, there's one type of contact lens you should never use—and if you do, you could be putting your vision at risk. Read on to discover what type of contact lens experts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say you're better off avoiding.

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Non-prescription lenses can cause serious eye damage.

woman looking in a mirror at her eyes
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Though many people buy and use non-prescription lenses without coming to harm every year, you're rolling the dice every time you do.

The FDA reports that using non-prescription lenses or using lenses incorrectly can cut or scratch your eyeball, cause allergic reactions leading to itchy or watery eyes, lead to infection, impair your vision, or even cause blindness.

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You should only get contacts after an eye exam.

woman gets checked by a male eye doctor
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While it may be fun to accessorize your eyes with colored contacts, whether for a special occasion or just to change up your look, the FDA says that getting contacts that fit your eyes properly is essential when it comes to avoiding damage to your eyes.

To ensure that you're getting the right kind of contacts, the FDA recommends getting an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor and getting a prescription, even for decorative lenses, to ensure a proper fit.

If you have certain symptoms, take your contacts out immediately.

young woman rubbing eye

While non-prescription lenses may be more likely to cause harm, any kind of contact lens could put your eye health in danger if you're not heeding certain warning signs.

If you notice redness, persistent eye pain, discharge, or impaired vision, it's important to contact a medical professional, as these may be signs of an eye infection. "An eye infection could become serious and cause you to become blind if it is not treated," the FDA warns.

Legitimate contact lens sellers will always ask for one thing.

doctor's hand writing prescription

While you don't have to buy contact lenses from your eye doctor directly, there is a way of telling legitimate contact lens sellers from ones who could be selling you faulty products.

According to the FDA, any legitimate contact lens distributor will ask for your lens prescription and verify it with your doctor before giving you their product. "They should request not only the prescription, but the name of your doctor and their phone number. If they don't ask for this information they are breaking federal law and could be selling you illegal contact lenses," the FDA explains.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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