A Harrowing Halloween Eye Horror Story!
With the warning bells we sounded in our blog a couple of weeks ago still ringing, we were not at all surprised when a young man came into our Hebden Bridge practice on Tuesday complaining of eye pain following the use of cosmetic contact lenses purchased off the internet.
He purchased the contact lenses online and received no training or instructions in how to insert or remove the lenses. Neither did the supplier check to see if the young man had any previous experience of contact lens wear or ask if he had an up to date contact lens prescription.
The young man in question wore the contact lenses for Halloween on the Saturday night, then slept in them, having not received any advice not to. The following morning he woke with a very sore right eye and tried to remove the lenses. To cut a long story short, he went to A&E where a scratched cornea was diagnosed and antibiotics were prescribed to treat the resultant infection.
Two days later, when he came into our practice his eye was still red and irritated. He has now been given some lubricating eye drops and with luck things should settle down.
This young man was one of many who risked his eyesight and eye health by buying novelty contact lenses online.
In the UK contact lenses should only be fitted by an optometrist or contact lens optician, who will measure each eye to fit the lenses and check to see how the eyes respond. Badly fitting contact lenses can lead to scratches or ulcers on the cornea and even just inserting the lenses incorrectly can lead to scratches of the cornea. Bacteria can then enter the wound and breed behind the lens which can lead to ulcers, which if left untreated may ultimately cause blindness.
If you have worn novelty contact lenses in the last few days and are experiencing discomfort we would advise that you see an eye care professional as soon as possible. Better still if you are thinking of getting contact lenses, play safe and only consult an optical professional first.