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Unread 11-12-2014, 12:18 AM   #1
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Question about Contacts

So, my freshman year of High School I was Bloody Mary for Halloween. I had bought this really cool costume contacts that we're $50.00. I decided to wear them to school the Friday before Halloween (as everyone dressed up that day) and ended up being able to only get one contact in. After awhile, my eye became red and irritated to the point where my support teacher forced me to go to the nurse, who told me to take out the contact. I went to the eye doctor only to find out I had scratched my cornea (which is bad, but didn't cause too much damage). My eye doctor then told me you have to be fitted for contact lenses so they fit properly in your eye.

My question is how do you safely get contact lenses? I've considered going to my eye doctor, but I don't want to pay a ton of money for contacts plus they might not have the color I need. It's also been suggested to me to go to the Walmart Vision center (As they are cheap) but I feel like they're going to be limited on colors as well.

I'm just fearful that this is going to happen to me again, and the damage is going to be worse.
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Unread 11-12-2014, 12:32 AM   #2
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You safely get them by going to an eye doctor. The exam isn't that expensive, especially if you use somewhere like a walmart or sears optical center, and frequently comes with trial contacts for you to practice with and being taught about how to care for, insert and remove them. Contacts aren't technically legal, at least in the US, to purchase without a prescription from an eye doctor for exactly the reasons that happened to you, but when you actually know what you need for your eyes you're usually safe buying them from a reputable costume shop/website (there's several threads on the makeup&contacts forum that will give you sites you can buy from). Most optometrists won't have colour lenses outside of "normal" eye colours; you'd either need to buy them online or if somewhat lucky, at costume shops (and usually not available in prescription powers) or have custom-made ones. I also recommend going back to an optometrist after getting them to check that they're sitting alright with your eyes, especially since you've already scratched one before. If you scratched your cornea, do NOT go rushing out to try and get contacts again so quickly. Your eye needs several months to heal before you can safely try again.
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Last edited by ShinobiXikyu : 11-12-2014 at 12:34 AM.
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Unread 11-12-2014, 12:39 AM   #3
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I don't get colored contacts. Wigs are expensive enough for me and I just don't care enough to need contacts. So I can't recommend a specific site. Check the stickies in the Makeup/Contacts sub forum. Make sure the site that you're looking at has the option of selecting a prescription and base curve for each lens.

As a regular contacts wearer, definitely go see the doctor. Have him or her give you a prescription. When I first got contacts, they measured my eyes and ordered me a sample pair. When the sample came it, they had me come in to see if they fit and show me how to safely put them in. Please do this. Don't risk your vision just to have cool looking eyes for part of a day.

(EDIT: Shinobi beat me to it. But seriously, don't mess around. Go to the doctor.)
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Unread 11-12-2014, 11:04 AM   #4
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Without an appointment with an optometrist you can't know what sizing of contacts to order.
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Unread 11-12-2014, 11:10 AM   #5
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Exactly what everyone has said so far. Get your prescription/sizing and make sure you can actually wear contacts, have no stigma, etc. If you don't need a prescription and if the eye doctor asks you why you need a exam to be fitted for contact lenses, good reasons are such that you want to be able to wear cosmetic lenses. Going to the eye doctor helps as well, since they will give you advice and show you how to wear the lenses, how to take care, etc.

Just be safe and like what others said, don't rush into getting contacts. They're not incredibly important for any cosplay that you must risk your eyes for!
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Unread 11-12-2014, 01:50 PM   #6
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Also, please. For the love of all that is somewhat holy and etc. Solution. You need to put them in solution before wear, not just immediately buy and put them on. I ran into a guy who didn't read any instructions and just wore them w/o any preparation, and he couldn't even get them out of his eye w/o help. His affected eye was red for the rest of the convention.
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Unread 11-12-2014, 09:16 PM   #7
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Regardless of all things, it is ILLEGAL in the U.S. to sell contact lenses without a prescription. There are reputable online/overseas dealers who make quality contacts, and there are also really crappy ones that just want your dollar and don't care if they ruin your eyes. Both types of dealer may in fact fail to ask for the prescription for US customers, so it's very hard to tell people not to go to a dealer that doesn't comply with US law.

That said...

Get an exam, get a prescription. Check the reviews subforum here for people's honest reviews of contact dealers. Never buy from a Halloween store. Do not buy from vendors at conventions (no matter how reputable they are, they aren't checking prescriptions). Use the lenses correctly. CLEAN THEM. If they irritate you even a little bit, take them out immediately. There are cautionary tales everywhere from people who thought they were buying good contacts from good dealers who still ended up ruining their eyesight either from flawed merchandise, wearing them incorrectly/not taking care of themselves, or both.
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