Wearing cat or vampire eyes may seem like harmless fun, but these lenses can pose serious risks if not used properly, warns the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) this week.
BCLA President Dr Catharine Chisholm said: “Consumers should understand that decorative and novelty contact lenses, like contact lenses intended for the correction of vision, present serious risks to eye health if they are distributed without proper fitting by a qualified eyecare professional, careful instruction and ongoing clinical care.”
The BCLA, the UK’s leading supplier of information and education on contact lenses, warns that misuse of non-corrective lenses can lead to serious eye problems. Experts are reminding consumers that cosmetic or fun lenses should only be sold by or under the supervision of an optometrist, dispensing optician or medical practitioner.
Supervision requires the registered person to be present on the premises, aware of the procedure and in a position to intervene if necessary. The seller/supplier must also make arrangements for the wearer to receive ongoing care. Any sales of cosmetic contact lenses that do not meet these requirements are illegal under the Opticians Act.
As with all contact lenses, provided they are handled and cared for properly and only used according to the prescribing practitioner’
Top tips for safe use of cosmetic lenses:
• Buy them only where there is a registered optometrist, dispensing optician, contact lens optician or medical practitioner on the premises
• Have the lenses properly fitted by a qualified professional
• Follow all the lens wear and care advice given
• Have regular check-ups
• Never share or swap lenses
For guidance on contact lens wear and care – and to find a BCLA contact lens practitioner near you – visit the Consumer section of the BCLA website at http://www.bcla.org.uk