Beware the potential danger of buying contact lenses online

Following on from an earlier post about the possible issues of purchasing eye care products online, here is another sound bit of advice regarding buying contact lenses online.

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is urging contact lens wearers to always buy their contact lenses under the supervision of a registered practitioner and in person for an optician.

BCLA President, Dr Catharine Chisholm, said, “Contact lens wearers who buy lenses from sources other than their eyecare practitioner, or optician, have been shown to be less likely to follow good eyecare health practices, including being less likely to attend regular aftercare check-ups.

“A recent study reported that the risk of contact lens-related microbial keratitis, (a potentially sight-threatening inflammation of the cornea), was 4.8 times more likely in those that purchased their lenses online compared to directly from their eyecare practitioner.

“Thankfully it is extremely rare for someone to develop an eye infection as a result of contact lens wear and even less common for this to result in a loss of vision, or the eye itself,” added Dr Chisholm.

However, infections of the cornea can be very serious and are most commonly associated with patients not following the precise instructions for lens care and wear given to them by their eyecare practitioner.”

BCLA President, Dr Catharine Chisholm, was recently a guest on BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours consumer affairs programme. She had been invited on as President of the BCLA to talk to host Peter White about contact lens wear and care in the wake of recent media interest.

If you were missed the broadcast that was sparked by last week’s statement issued by the BCLA in response to an article published in The Sun newspaper, click here to read the horrendous story about contact lens fungus that resulted in a women losing her eye that triggered the debate.