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Coloured contact lenses may cause eye damage

Unlicensed Coloured Contact Lenses May Cause Long-Term Eye Damage

Contact lenses are medical devices. For this reason, they should only be used with a medical prescription. Consequently, the sale of contact lenses online is illegal in Singapore (MOH, 2015).

Not surprisingly, many are enticed by the low prices offered online. In addition, the added convenience of online shopping is another pull factor. Furthermore, online retailers often stock a wide range of coloured contacts, or “circle lenses”. However, as these stores are not regulated by authorities, one runs the risk of receiving counterfeit or unsafe products. Likewise, they become susceptible to the dangers posed by such. In other words, when you purchase unlicensed coloured contacts, you putting your eyes at risk.

For instance, scientists from Japan analyzed three models of coloured contacts that were bought without prescriptions. Unfortunately, the lenses were found to contain chlorine, titanium dioxide and iron – potential eye irritants. Furthermore, colorants in several lenses were not sealed properly. In fact, the colours began to seep after being rinsed.

Unlicensed Coloured Contact Lenses May Cause Long-Term Eye Damage

In this blog post, the writer shares her firsthand account the side effects of coloured contacts. She received the lenses from an unlicensed online retailer in Malaysia. After wearing them, she suffered from keratitis, corneal scarring and decreased quality of vision three months. While we are unable to comment on the case without examining the patient, this example is valuable food for thought.

Illegally sold coloured contact lenses can cause the following symptoms:

  • Reduced or blurred vision
  • Feeling like there is something in the eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Swelling or redness in the eye
  • Excessive tearing
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Furthermore, they may lead to the following eye conditions:

  • Corneal ulcers
  • Keratitis
  • Corneal scarring
  • Impairment of vision
  • In serious cases, blindness

In other words, beware of unlicensed lenses!

Generally, for the safe use of contact lenses, we suggest:

  • Firstly, you should always obtain a valid contact lens prescription from a certified optometrist.
  • Secondly, purchase contact lenses only from licensed optical shops.
  • Additionally, make sure that the lenses are approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA)(list of HSA approved lenses).
  • Exercising proper hygiene when caring for your contact lenses. For example, wash hands before handling, renew lens solution periodically, clean lenses regularly, do not use for longer than instructed.
  • Lastly, visiting an eye specialist if your eyes feel uncomfortable after contact lens wear.

In conclusion, it is not worth risking your eyesight for vanity. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you get your eyes examined by a doctor. Alternatively, you may consider getting LASIKif contacts are causing you problems.

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