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Coloured contact lens wearers at high risk of eye infections, blindness

August 12, 2011 - London

Young people are increasingly turning to coloured contact lenses to add a touch of glamour to their appearance - thanks to films like 'Twilight' and stars like Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson.

However, only a few of them are aware that these fashion accessories could damage their eyes, especially if they are cheap and not prescribed by qualified practitioners.

British trading standards watchdogs have warned that cosmetic lenses, also known as plano or zero-powered lenses, increases the risk of eye infection and can lead to blindness and even permanent loss of vision, reports the Daily Mail.

Young people can increase the risk of infection by sharing them with friends.

Using contact lenses that are unsuitable for the eye or using them incorrectly can cause serious problems, including corneal ulcers and infections, which in turn can lead to vision impairment.

According to UK laws, lenses can only be sold where a registered optometrist, dispensing optician or medical practitioner is on the premises.

However, trading standard officers are aware that they are being sold illegally at some outlets such as hairdressers, beauticians, novelty shops and market stalls.

Officers are now visiting the outlets found to be selling them and instructing the proprietors to remove the items from sale or face being referred to the General Optical Council, who have the power to take possible further enforcement action.


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