Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Girl loses her eye after buying contacts at a beauty store

Fox news reports that a New York girl needs a cornea transplant after she illegally purchased a pair of colored contacts at a local beauty store. But this could happen in Vancouver. There were reports last year of kids buying coloured contacts at various night markets around Vancouver and being told that they could clean the contacts with tap water (which is wrong and very dangerous advice).

According to Fox News, Erica Barnes bought $20 contacts at a store in Queens. She wore the lenses for one day and fell asleep with them in her eyes. An infection developed and destroyed her cornea. Unless she can get a corneal transplant she will be blind for life in the affected eyes.

According to the girl's step mother, “For $20, she lost her eye. Every parent should know their girls are in danger. They are dangerous eye candy that our children can buy anywhere.”

Legally, you need a prescription from a doctor to purchase contact lenses – and they should be purchased from a licensed health care provider, who can teach you how to use them and take care of them. Shockingly, Erica was told she could clean her contacts with with tap water – not saline solution.

The following comes from the Fox News report:

Dr. Jules Winokur, a corneal specialist in New York City, said contact lenses purchased from beauty stores often don’t fit properly and the salespeople who sell them don’t give proper advice on how to take care of them or how to use them. He said he sees several people come to his office with infections because they use such lenses, and he advises it’s not a good idea.

This is an example of the dangers of buying contacts from people who are are not eye care professionals - places like beauty stores, the Internet or Vancouver night markets. It is dangerous and parents should ensure that their children are being properly fitted with their contacts and are instructed on lens use and lens care by an eye doctor.

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