Opticians warning coloured contact lenses could lead to possible blindness

Dr Amir reveals what eyes can reveal about our health

Professional services optician at Vision Direct, Nimmy Mistry, revealed the risks of wearing coloured contacts bought from non-optical establishments.

“Cheap, coloured lenses that you can buy in joke and costume shops often adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” said Mistry.

As a consequence, the lenses could be too large or too small, which can lead to undue discomfort.

Irritating the eye increases the chance for bacteria to enter and cause an infection.

Contact lenses that don’t fit properly, especially if too tight, can lead corneal abrasions.

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Mistry explained: “When the cornea gets scratched, bacteria and fungi can infiltrate the eye.

“If not treated promptly, these infections can encourage the growth of blood vessels in the cornea, leading to scarring; and untreated keratitis can lead to possible blindness.”

Any of the following symptoms while wearing contacts should see an optometrist at your local pharmacy.

Symptoms not to ignore while wearing contact lenses:

  • Eye irritation
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye pain
  • Discharge
  • Excessive watering.

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Mistry added: “Standard contact lenses are crafted from medical-grade, hypoallergenic materials, typically causing no reactions.

“In contrast, one-night Halloween contacts aren’t made from the same breathable materials.”

Experiencing an allergic reaction while wearing contacts not made from breathable material is possible.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction could include:

  • Watering
  • Itchiness
  • Burning
  • Sensitivity
  • Discomfort.

While a mild allergic reaction will go away once you take out the contact lenses, there can be severe reactions that require medical attention and treatment.

If you still choose to wear coloured contacts, whatever the occasion might be, Mistry shared top tips to keep safe.

“If they say ‘single-use’, use them only once,” advised Mistry. “And don’t sleep with lenses in!”

Mistry’s last part of professional advice is to “purchase from a reputable eye care brand”.

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