The entry of huge inventories of cheap fashion contact lenses into the Philippines
may have prompted the Department of Health (DOH) to issue an advisory against the sale of unregistered contact lenses.
My curiosity about fashion contact lenses increased after seeing a rising number of Pinoy girls with eyes in various colors, mostly seaweed green, lavender, and pale yellow, perhaps inspired by the lovely eyes of Twilight’s Kristen Stewart. When three of my young neighbors started wearing them, I started questioning in my mind the safety of these prettifying things. Yes, they enhance one’s looks and they get attention, but are they safe to the eyes?
I then researched about fashion contact lenses, and found out that even the prescription functional contact lenses can cause side effects with long-term use and inadequate care. Eh di mas masahol dito sa mga cheap fashion contact lenses.
If unprescribed eyeglasses and low-quality sunglasses can hurt and damage the eyes, then the risk is much greater that unprescribed and low-quality contact lenses can damaged the eyes because these are in direct contact with the eyes.
The following are the side effects of long-time wear of contact lenses, whether they’re functional or decorative. The risks of side effects for decorative or fashion lenses are multipled.
Red eyes. Your eyes become red because you’re allergic to the lens, the lens preservative or the cleaning solution. Wrong lens size also causes itching, prompting you to constantly scratch your eyes.
Dry eyes. These lenses prevent the natural creation of tears. You have dry eyes if your eyes feel hot, if you feel as if there’s something stuck in your eyes, or if your eyes feel like tearing or burning.
Swelling of the eyes. Contact lenses prevent oxygen from naturally entering the eyes. Lack of oxygen causes the eyes to swell. Constant wiping, touching or rubbing of the eyes can also cause swelling.
Inflammation of the eyelids. Long time wear can cause small swellings or bumps under your eyelids.
Damage to the cornea. Careless attachment or re-attachment of lenses can scrape or scratch your cornea and can cause eye swelling or haziness of vision. The more serious damages are: bacterial keratitis which is a corneal infection, hypoxia which is lack of oxygen and infiltrative keratitis which is an inflammation of the cornea.
Decrease in vision. Tinted contact lenses become obstructions to light and prevent the pupils from doing their job.
Premature decline in vision. As we age, our vision declines gradually, but this process can accelerate with long-term careless use of contact lenses, particularly cheap low-quality unprescribed fashion contact lenses.