Holding a Mirror up to Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can be a great part of a person’s life, as long as they are used safely and responsibly in accordance with the advice of a qualified professional and checked regularly in contact lens appointments.

The Mirror published an article called How To Find Cheap Contact Lenses Online In The UK.

Now, while this isn’t as dangerous as when the Mail Online recommended using breast milk as a treatment for conjunctivitis and contact lens solution (which they later took down, though they still recommend it for ear infections!), it’s still a very bad idea.

The article doesn’t mention that it is vital to have a contact lens checkup yearly. Contact lenses are medical devices and so are subject to a lot of legislation for the safety of people who use them. Like other medical devices, if used wrongly, they can cause a lot of harm. One in six contact lens wearers in the USA have had to go to a health professional due to a contact lens related issue. These complications can be painful, long-lasting and lead to reduction in vision or blindness.

Without going to regular eye checkups, there is a risk that there may be eye problems that you aren’t even aware of. Also, without contact lens checks, contact lens wearers won’t be able to get the detailed advice and information that optometrists spend 4 years training to dispense in the patient’s best interest.

The article tells readers “you may prefer trying out other, cheaper brands instead now that you have the choice (just make sure you stick to your official prescription!).” This is not safe, even if sticking to the official strength written in prescription. The full prescription includes the specific brand and style of contact lens – they are not interchangeable. In your initial contact lens fit assessments, your optician will assess a certain lens on you to see if it fits. Just because one lens fits you, that doesn’t mean another kind will. By wearing lenses that don’t fit, you’re running the risk of several eye problems.

Contact lenses are a wonderful tool when used safely  – I wear them myself. But without regular checkups and advice from a qualified optometrist, they can also be dangerous.

Please go to regular checks with your optometrist, returning sooner if you have any problems or questions. That’s what they’re there for!

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