Watch out for illegal coloured eye lenses

Beware of coloured contact lenses obtained from unregistered sellers, the Health Professions Council of South Africa warned yesterday.

Beware of coloured contact lenses obtained from unregistered sellers, the Health Professions Council of South Africa warned yesterday.

"A poor fitting lens can result in numerous complications," warned the Professional Board for Optometry and Dispensing Opticians, which falls under the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

Chairman Vanessa Moodley said such complications were often not easily noticed by the person wearing lenses until they were advanced.

The sale of contact lenses by unqualified people was becoming more common, she said.

"As contact lenses are medical devices, registered optometrists and ophthalmologists are the only people allowed to dispense and sell contact lenses and patients must not purchase these from any other person."

The HPCSA said vendors were distributing coloured lenses as "mere cosmetic devices" and encouraging dangerous practices such as over-wearing or the swopping of lenses.

"Swopping of lenses poses a danger of transmitting viruses or bacteria," Moodley said.

As contact lenses were not suitable for use by many individuals, a practitioner had to conduct various tests and take measurements to determine if a patient was suitable for contact lenses.

But this was not the case if one dealt with an unregistered person, said Moodley.

The HPCSA urged anyone who had purchased lenses from an unregistered person to report the illegal activity to the HPCSA or to the police. - Sapa

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