Contact Safety Concern
Colored contacts give the wearer a doe-eyed, innocent, childlike appearance. But experts warn that the eye candies can be dangerous.
Lu Yanyun, director of the Optometry and Glasses Center at the Beijing Tongren Hospital explained why to China Daily.
Lu said that compared to ordinary contact lenses, colored contacts carry greater risks of ocular irritation, redness and infection.
Due to the layer of tinted color, they are thicker and harder than ordinary contact lenses, and additionally are less permeable, which can lead to the eyes being deprived of moisture and oxygen, Lu explains.
When the eyes, mainly the cornea, are deprived of water and oxygen, cells die and blood vessels dilate, causing syndromes such as itchiness and bloodshot eyes.
Moreover, the death and slow reproduction of certain eye cells, such as the epithelial cells of the cornea, will make the eyes vulnerable to viruses and bacteria, causing infection and other complications, said Pan Zhiqiang, a cornea disease specialist at the Beijing Tongren Hospital.
The best way to prevent infection and other eye problems is to wear them only for short periods of time, recommended professor James Salz from University of Southern California, who talked to the Los Angeles Times.
Another big problem with colored contacts is that wearers care more about looks than sizes.
“Each eye is unique and has different curvatures. There isn’t just one size,” Salz said.
Just like one shoe size doesn’t fit all, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all contact lenses.
For those who wear contacts which are too tight, the risks include swelling of the cornea, redness or corneal abrasion. Contacts that are too loose will move around and can also cause irritation and redness.
Worse still, there is a risk of blindness, added Dr John A. Hoepner, chairman of the Ophthalmology Department at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.
To make sure that people get contact lenses of the correct size, a federal law was passed in the United States in 2005.
It rules that all contact lenses are regulated medical devices which require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional.
Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic lenses.
Here in China, people can get over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses with no prescription.
But experts say that they should go for a professional eye exam to determine the correct curve and size of their contact lenses.