Take Care When Using Fun Lenses

Experts from Moorfields Eye Hospital are urging anyone considering contact lenses, whether fun lenses or prescription ones, to buy and wear them safely.

Cosmetic contact lenses are often sold illegally in joke shops, on market stalls, and websites. These unauthorised outlets rarely provide adequate advice about how to wear and care for contact lenses safely.  By law, cosmetic contact lenses should only be supplied under the supervision of a registered optician or doctor who will check the lenses will not cause damage and provide aftercare advice to reduce the risk of infection.  The regulatory position is set out here

Mr Badrul Hussain, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Each year we treat patients, including children under 16, who have developed eye conditions after wearing cosmetic contact lenses. Some of the cases we see, like patients sharing lenses with friends, wearing the same pair year after year well past the expiry date, and storing them in tap water, have devastating effects. Most of the patients haven’t been shown how to look after their cosmetic lenses or their eyes properly. Not knowing the basics of using contact lenses safely can put you at higher risk of developing painful eye injuries, infections and in the worst cases, risk of permanent sight loss."

First and foremost, never allow contact lenses to come into contact with water of any sort.  For further advice on buying and wearing cosmetic lenses click here

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA has a very comprehensive website on all aspects of contact lens wear.  Read its advice here

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has clear advice for users of decorative contact lenses here

If you are still unsure about how to care for your contact lenses you should visit your local high street optician.  Contact lenses are medical devices and they should always be handled appropriately.