Using costume contact lenses without a proper fitting and care significantly increases your risk of eye infections.
Wearers of costume contact lenses — special colored contacts that dramatically change the appearance of the eye — are significantly more likely to experience contact lens-related eye infections, according to a European study.
Researchers in France conducted the study at 12 university hospitals between July 2007 and July 2009 to evaluate the risk of eye infections among individuals who wore costume color contacts (also called theatrical contact lenses), compared with people who wore conventional (non-costume) contact lenses.
All patients with contact lens-related eye infections anonymously completed a questionnaire to determine their contact lens wearing habits and other information associated with their contact lens wear.
The study revealed that costume contact lenses were rarely dispensed by eye care professionals in France, and the risk of contact lens-related eye infection for people wearing theatrical lenses was more than 12 times greater than that of individuals who wore conventional contact lenses.
The researchers also found that people wearing costume contact lenses tended to be younger than people wearing conventional lenses (average age: 21 vs. 27), and people wearing costume contact lenses were less likely to receive proper instructions about contact lens care, handling and basic hygiene.
The study also revealed that people wearing theatrical contact lenses tended to have more severe lens-related infections: 60 percent of eye infections among those who wore costume lenses resulted in a final visual acuity worse than 20/200 due to corneal injury and scarring, compared with 13 percent of eye infections associated with wearing conventional contact lenses.
The study was published online by the European eye journal Acta Ophthalmologica on March 15.
Tags: Eye Infections