The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Opticianry and the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry are issuing a warning about possible health risks associated with improper use of colored and patterned non-corrective contact lenses, commonly referred to as "cosmetic" contact lenses.
The Boards have received reports of illegal sales of these lenses, particularly to middle school and high school students in South Carolina. These contact lenses are not intended to improve vision. They are worn to change a person's eye color or alter the appearance of the eye, as in the popular "Bullseye" patterned lenses. Additionally, the Boards have learned that sharing of these lenses is commonplace, and it is considered fun and stylish to share or trade contacts. Teen-agers, parents and other adults should be aware that:
Immediate medical attention from an optometrist or physician should be sought if a person's eye becomes red, irritated or develops an unusual amount of mucous discharge after using contact lenses, especially if these symptoms continue for more than a few hours after the lenses are removed.
The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Opticianry and South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry investigate complaints concerning contact lenses and work to ensure all contact lens dispensers are in compliance with the law. If you are aware of any person or firm marketing "cosmetic" contact lenses or if you have any questions, please contact the South Carolina Opticianry Board at (803) 896-4681 or the South Carolina Optometry Board at (803) 896-4679.