Four Risks of Costume Contact Lenses

Cosmetic contact lenses change your eye color or appearance, helping you make a subtle or bold statement with your eyes. But beware: buying cosmetic contact lenses not prescribed by an eye doctor who has examined your eyes can lead to serious eye problems—even vision loss.

Contact lenses require a prescription from a licensed eye care practitioner. They are deemed medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Contact lenses are banned from being sold by non-licensed vendors, including gas stations, convenience stores and beauty parlors. It is illegal to import and sell counterfeit contact lenses into the U.S., and federal law enforcement agencies work to stop this from happening. The simple fact is that unregulated cosmetic contacts are bad news for your eyes.

Click here to learn four ways that over-the-counter decorative contact lenses can hurt your eyes.

Could Exercise Prevent Eye Damage?

Regular exercise can slim your waistline and lift your mood. Now, a small study in mice hints that exercise may also help guard against eye damage.

Whether this finding will hold up in humans is unclear. But some researchers are cautiously optimistic because the results are consistent with past studies showing the benefits of exercise in people.

“The new study is exciting because it supports previous findings suggesting a link between exercise and prevention of AMD,” said ophthalmologist and Academy spokesperson J. Kevin McKinney, MD, MPH.

Past studies in people have suggested that exercise may help prevent serious eye diseases such as AMD. The new study is interesting, researchers say, because rather than relying on people to self-report their exercise, it directly examines how physical activity changes cells and tissues in the mouse eye.

Regular physical activity could promote eye health

Scientists are still working to understand how exercise protects the human eye. Their discoveries could unlock treatments for a number of eye conditions.

If you already have an eye disease, exercise may help you manage it better. One study found that people who engaged in moderate physical exercise were less likely than inactive people to develop glaucoma. Physical activity can also help people with diabetes keep their disease under control. That reduces the risk of complications, including diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss among working age adults.

Learn more from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

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