-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Halloween is a popular time
to buy over-the-counter decorative contact lenses, but they pose a
number of potential risks to your eyes, including pain,
inflammation, serious infection and permanent vision loss, warns
the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
"Many people believe that decorative lenses don't require the same level of care or consideration because they can be purchased over-the-counter or on the Internet," Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a professor of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and a clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said in an academy news release.
"This is far from the truth. In fact, permanent eye damage can occur from using over-the-counter lenses. Any type of contact lens is a medical device that requires a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional."
Decorative lenses are often advertised as if they were
cosmetics, fashion accessories or toys. Advertising claims such as
"one size fits all" or there's "no need to see an eye specialist"
are false, Steinemann said.
"Personally, I have seen far too many serious cases in both children and adults from using decorative lenses. My most recent case was a patient who was only 12 years old," he stated in the news release.
For proper-fitting contact lenses, an eye-care professional must
measure each eye. An improper fit can scratch the eye and lead to
blood vessel growth in the cornea. Only patients who are able to
act responsibly in the handling and care of contacts, such as
cleaning and disinfecting them to prevent infection, and meet other
requirements should be prescribed lenses, according to information
in the news release.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
decorative contact lenses.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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