Optical Express experts conducted lengthy tests of novelty lenses, based on fit, wearer comfort and quality of vision. Glasgow optometrists claim five out of six of the UK's leading novelty contact lense brands have failed to meet basic quality and safety tests. Optical Express opticians from the city teamed up with colleagues in Liverpool to conduct extensive experiments with volunteer patients.
They found that out of the six products - Eye Spy, EDIT iGlow, ColouVue Crazy Lenses, EDIT Big Circle Eyes, Mesmereyes and high street unbranded lenses, only ColourVue received an overall pass. The rest failed basic quality and safety tests including quality of fit, wearer comfort and quality of vision. Novelty contact lenses, made popular by celebrities including Michelle Keegan at this year’s BRIT awards, are commonly worn for fancy dress occasions such as Halloween.
Although it is illegal for non-prescription lenses to be sold or supplied in Britain without the supervision of a registered optometrist or qualified dispensing optician – they are still alarmingly easy to purchase online and in high street stores, such as fancy dress shops and market stalls. The experiment tested against six different safety criteria including packaging, fit, vision and wearer comfort.
Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director at Optical Express commented: “The results of our simple quality and safety tests are extremely concerning. "Although eye care providers and organisations have taken steps to warn the public of the devastating risks of novelty contact lenses – the industry is still alarmingly unregulated, despite the fact it is now against the law to sell contact lenses without a qualified eyecare professional onsite. “The quality of these lenses are clearly not up to scratch, and they shouldn’t be available to purchase as easily as they are. Patients are being put at risk.”