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.
BCLA President, Dr Catharine Chisholm, commented that contact lens wearers who buy lenses from sources other than their eyecare practitioner have been shown to be less likely to follow good eye care 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 eye care practitioners (ECP).”
The BCLA advises all ECPs to revisit optimum lens care habits with patients at each lens aftercare visit, and has recently produced a ‘Checklist for healthy contact lens wear’ for practitioners to complete and issue to their contact lens patients at each six-month check-up.