Seventy-two percent of 18 online sites evaluated failed to adhere to FTC and FDA regulations for selling decorative contact lenses.
Twenty-two optometrists completed an online survey that was reported in Eye & Contact Lens.
A total of 77% of respondents reported having patients with complications from decorative contact lenses that were purchased both legally and illegally.
The researchers said that many individuals who obtain decorative contact lenses illegally from unauthorized sources are young adults.
One-third of complications were seen in first-time lens wearers, half of whom never received proper care instructions or were unaware that care instructions existed, according to the study.
One-fourth of the lenses were purchased illegally, with unlicensed stores being the most common place of purchase.
According to the providers, approximately 33% of the contact lens complications arose in first-time contact lens wearers, and approximately 50% of those patients were unaware of the proper use and care of contact lenses.
Better regulation and oversight of unlicensed contact lens vendors is needed, according to researchers. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.