Q: Are cosmetic contacts safe to wear every day?
Yes, as long as they aren't a random pair picked off the rack at the Halloween store. Just like contact lenses that correct your vision, decorative contacts are overseen by the FDA and require a prescription. While there may be vendors out there selling colored, vampire, or cat-eye lenses without requiring an Rx, buying from these folks isn't safe. Go through a reputable eye-care professional to get the lenses properly prescribed and fitted for your eyes.
You should also follow the same safety and hygiene guidelines that you do with regular prescription contact lenses. Make sure you clean and disinfect them according to the instructions and take them out after the recommended length of time. If redness or pain occurs or you notice any discharge, remove them and call your eye doctor right away.
Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.