Halloween celebrations will kick off this weekend, with the actual date of the spooky festivities taking place on Wednesday 31 October.
For many, dressing-up for Halloween is a big occasion and every detail from head to toe matters.
But the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has issued a stark health warning for those planning to wear coloured contact lenses with their outfit.
New research from ABDO reveals Brits have a concerning lack of knowledge when it comes to looking after their eyes.
The survey of 2,000 women revealed that over half (54 per cent) of respondents did not know that a contact lens could cause damage to the eye if not correctly fitted and 56 per cent did not think it was important to seek professional help when purchasing lenses.
Perhaps even more worryingly, 61 per cent of those asked would buy lenses from a non-medical source such as an online retailer or marketplace, fancy dress shop or even a market-stall.
Commenting on the dangers of using coloured contact lenses, Contact Lens Optician Daryl Newsome of ABDO said: “An ill-fitting contact lens could starve the cornea of oxygen which can cause the cornea to temporarily go cloudy if the lens is worn for a short period or even cause severe and sight threatening reactions if the lens is left in too long.”
ABDO’s research also found as many as 61 per cent of Brits did not know that incorrectly fitted contact lenses can cause permanent damage to the eyes and over a third, 38 per cent, would go and see a GP instead of an optician to resolve eye soreness and discomfort, despite the fact opticians are often best placed to deal with minor eye conditions.
Daryl has some advice on who the best person is to seek help from if you have a problem.
He said: “Visiting a suitably qualified and experienced eye care professional for the contact lens fitting coupled with good advice regarding wearing schedules and lens care products is critical to the happy and successful use of any contact lenses including novelty Halloween lenses.
The law in the U.K. stipulates unqualified people are not allowed to supply the public with lenses without a written and signed copy of a contact lens specification.
“Novelty shops and market traders that do this are breaking U.K. law
“If you wouldn’t buy prescription medicines from a market trader because you know this is wrong, why would you risk your eyesight buying unknown products from an unregistered seller who won’t be able to teach you how to insert and remove the lenses, let alone deal with any consequences if anything should go wrong?
“Don’t let fun be a reason to compromise your eyesight! Visit a professional you can trust.”
A contact lenses specialist or optometrist can best advise on contact lens safety, but the NHS also offers some recommendations on its website.
To help keep your eyes healthy and free from infections you should make sure to:
- Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses
- Only wear your contact for the recommended time
- Always have an up-to-date pair of glasses for when you take your lenses out
- Have regular contact lens check-ups, even if everything seems OK
- Get advice straight away if you’re having any problems with your contact lenses, such as sore, red or swollen eyes
- Wear any contact lenses, including novelty lenses, that have’t been properly fitted to your eyes
- Put water or saliva on your lenses orin your eye when you’re wearing them
- Pick up a dropped lens and put it straight back into your eye without cleaning it thoroughly
- Carry on wearing your lenses if they don’t look good, feel food or your vision is blurry
- Use a lens if it looks damaged
- Sleep in your lenses unless your contact lens practitioner says it’s OK to do this
- Wear your lenses while swimming or playing water sports
- Wear your lenses in the shower or hot tub
- Wear someone else’s contact lenses or share your lenses with anyone
- Reuse a daily disposable lens
- Use eyedrops while wearing your lenses unless your contact lens practitioner or ophthalmologist says it’s safe to do this
Published at Fri, 26 Oct 2018 20:52:00 +0000