After evaluating a series of severe eye infections following colored contact lens wear, researchers concluded that over-the-counter use of cosmetic lenses is increasing, and the unmonitored accessibility of these lenses to young people can potentially lead to sight-threatening conditions.
Of the 13 cases studied, the average patient age was 19 years. In all cases, the patients didn’t need vision correction and had worn their color contact lenses for cosmetic purposes only.
The researchers found that all of the lens wearers had failed to obtain a valid contact lens prescription, as required by U.S. law. Seven of the wearers purchased their color contacts from an unlicensed optical shop, five shared them with friends or relatives, and one found lenses in the garbage.
In each case, the patient was successfully treated for infectious keratitis with topical antimicrobials.
The study was reported in the journal Cornea.