A doctor should always prescribe decorative contact lenses. Decorative contact lenses are a known medical device and are treated with the same standards as corrective contact lenses. Decorative lenses are also known as Halloween, fashion, colored, cosmetic, and theatre contact lenses. These lenses are used to alter the look of your eyes and do not correct your vision.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the safety and effectiveness of decorative lenses, decorative lenses should never be bought from beauty supply stores, novelty stores, or street vendors. All contact lenses must be prescribed by a doctor, any lenses not prescribed are illegal1. Altering the look of your eyes from unprescribed lenses could lead to many issues without proper measurements and input from an eye care professional.

Unprescribed and prescribed lenses that are not used correctly can lead to severe damage to your eyes. The risks involved with unprescribed decorative lenses include infection, corneal abrasions, decreased vision, allergic reactions, and blindness. When wearing any type of contact lens watch out for signs of eye infections such as redness, decreased vision, and pain in the eyes. If any of the risks mentioned occur, you must see a licensed eye doctor as soon as possible.

When buying decorative lenses, it is important to buy contact lenses from a company that requires a provided prescription. Sellers must obtain your prescription and verify the prescription with a licensed eye doctor, if they do not request a prescription, they are selling illegal lenses and breaking federal law. If you need assistance with gaining approval for your decorative lenses, EMMA International is here to help with medical device approvals and identification. Contact us by phone at 248-987-4497 or by email at info@emmainternational.com.


[1] U.S. Food & Drug Administration (October, 2021) Decorative Contact Lenses Halloween and More Retrieved on May 08, 2022 from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/contact-lenses/decorative-contact-lenses-halloween-and-more

Sarah Koehler

Sarah Koehler

Sarah is a Quality Engineer at EMMA International. She has experience in quality assurance, change management, laboratory controls, and process/equipment validation within the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Sarah has earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Western Michigan University.

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