Warning over cosmetic contacts
As Lady GaGa's new video, for her hit single Bad Romance, inspires a new trend in wearing cosmetic contact lenses the Trust warns that improper use and poorly fitted lenses pose a serious risk to your eye health.
In the UK all contact lenses including – including plano (non-prescription), novelty lenses and coloured contacts – must be supplied by or under the supervision of a registered optometrist, suitably qualified dispensing optician or medical practitioner*. However, dedicated followers of fashion are unwittingly putting their sight at risk by importing circle contact lenses from unregulated overseas websites.
Circle lenses cover part of the sclera (the whites of your eyes) with a ring of colour surrounded by a black border to enhance the iris and make your eyes appear bigger and more attractive. The lenses sit directly on the delicate surface of the eye so the risk of infection and causing trauma or injury is high.
Poorly fitting lenses, extended wear and poor hygiene habits can all lead to series eye infections, corneal ulcers, abrasions and even loss of vision.
Common problems associated with unsupervised contact lens use include: red, sore or gritty eyes; a watery discharge; dry eyes; sensitivity to the light; headaches; blurred vision and in severe cases, reduced visual acuity.
Follow the Trust's top tips for wearing cosmetic contacts to help safeguard your eye health and keep your eyes looking gorgeous, sassy and bright…
• First, go for an eye examination at your local optometrists who will advise you on your suitability for contact lenses.
• Take advice on the best sort of lens for your needs
• Only buy from a registered optical professional who will give essential advice on how long and how often you can wear the lenses, handling, cleaning, storage and aftercare
• Ensure you go for regular check-ups of both your contact lenses and eyes
• Disinfect and clean your lenses and any storage case daily in the recommended solution to kill any micro-organisms that may cause infection
• Daily disposables should be disposed of daily!
• Never wear anyone else's lenses or allow them to wear yours
And, remember, if in doubt, take them out!
If your eyes hurt, look red or feel irritated remove the lenses immediately and seek professional advice.
Click here for further advice on wearing and caring for contact lenses or log on to the British Contact Lens Association website http://www.bcla.org.uk/en/consumers/index.cfm
* Opticians Act 1989 (Amendment) Order 2005