Contact Lenses :: Warning on non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses

The Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Chris Pearce, today warned about the dangers associated with wearing non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses.

Cosmetic contact lenses (also known as novelty lenses; crazy lenses; and fashion lenses) are coloured contact lenses intended to be worn directly against the cornea for the purpose of altering the appearance of the eye.

?These lenses have been implicated in a number of cases of eye injury both in Australia and overseas. Injuries associated with the lenses have ranged from mild infection to permanent vision damage and blindness. In the majority of cases, injuries are a result of the misuse of lenses, often due to a lack of information provided to consumers at point of sale,? Mr Pearce said.

The Medical Journal of Australia, August 2006, contains a report of a 13 year old Queensland girl who developed a severe eye infection after borrowing a friend?s cosmetic lenses for a weekend. The girl spent 3 weeks in hospital receiving intensive treatment but vision in the eye could not be saved, and she is now legally blind in one eye.

?Having regard to the potential for serious eye injury, I consider it essential to warn consumers of the dangers associated with cosmetic contact lenses and advise them not to purchase or wear such lenses without appropriate professional fitting and care instructions. As with prescription contact lenses, cosmetic contact lenses must be thoroughly sterilised prior to each use,? Mr Pearce added.

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