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Your Views: The sale of novelty contact lenses

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Eye specialists are calling for greater restrictions on the sale of novelty contact lenses after they destroyed a man's cornea - the first case of its kind in this country. The 24-year-old from Auckland lost the sight in one eye after it became infected from wearing a pair of coloured contact lenses.

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After reading the full story it is blatantly obvious this situation could have been avoided. First of all the guy borrowed the lenses, which is a big no no.. Then he left them in for three consecutive days running which is also a big no as the proteins in your eyes starts to break down the lenses. You are only advised to wear lenses for a maximum of up to 12 hours per day, then to take them out clean them with a disinfecting solution and store them in new solution in a lens case to re-hydrate them properly before re-inserting them. When we sleep at night and our eyes are closed, they do not get the necessary oxygen they need etc.

This guy then after all this happened did not bother following the instructions of the Optometrist after a serious eye operation. His sight and eye could have been saved if he only followed instructions etc. It is not fair to blame the sellers of contact lenses, as this was 150 per cent his fault! As stated in the TV3 news item that there is nothing wrong with the lenses, but it is how people are mis-using them altogether. As stated this is the first case of its kind in NZ, and it is purely down to the users mis-use and not caring for his own eyes. Give the retailers a break, thanks.

I have no pity for this idiot. First of all he borrowed contacts belonging to someone else, that is just asking for trouble in itself. The guy then wore them for 3 days in a row, what is the bet he never took them out to clean them or anything similar. He then gets told what to do and cant be bothered. So please tell me why the manufacturer in this case get the blame because of idiots like him. I too have had an infection due to my own stupidity with contacts, but guess what? I did what I was told to do anr have had no problems since. All this guy deserves is a kick up the bum and told to get on with it. But I am sure there will be many people who will say ohhhh poor him and he will get ACC for the rest of his life which means I as a tax payer will pay for him to keep on being stupid.

Carole Nathan
The result of this young man’s corneal damage is indeed not he first case in the country. Whilst I think stricter control over the sale of lens should be outlawed it was this mans choice to wear the lens,without considering the stringent guidelines which are standard for the wearer. In December 1997 I was presented at Auckand Hospital after a referral for treatment in the opthalmic clinic with an inflammed eye.Antibiotic eye drops were administered by the registra on duty and within 24 hours I had 360 degrees of corneal ulceration in both eyes. Months of treatment now going into years my sight was eventually preserved functionally through the expertise of Doctor Trevor Gray, Grant Watters and supporting medics. Being a contact lens wearer the best of lens screening it was decided by ACC the result of the damage was contact lens related.I had adhered to all interactions knowing the possible outcome of overwearing , using correct solutions,hygiene with handling, just some of the responsibilities as a lens wearer yet still this extensive damage. Does this man who shows an irresponsible action qualify for ACC assistance in the future or does he stand along side myself and have his life almost destroyed and end up on the heap as I have done? Will he struggle for his existence losing financially trading down on property to manage,need to attend clinic after clinic to name a few of the degrading experience I have encountered or does Acc see his case favourably?If the sight in the remaining eye is good he will not need the services of the Foundation for the blind neither will he need to spend endlees hours waiting for follow up treatment. All this time consuming energy becomes demoralising and one hopes this young man be spared.So I ask you how can he be the first case in New Zealand to suffer needlessly or will he have better care should ACC admit to liability?After all he wore contact lens as I wore contact lens. Indeed this man has been fortunate to have an opthomoligist such as Trevor Gray handle his case as it is my belief without him my sight would not have been retrieved in both eyes.

Martin Doms
I think that contact lens retailers should be required to sell their products with comprehensive instructions. The sale of novelty lenses should not be restricted to Optometrists. Having said that, the man in this story wore the lenses for 3 days straight, then when he got an infection and had corneal transplants, failed to use the medication supplied to him, despite knowing what was at risk. He is obviously not the sharpest crayon in the box, and something bad was eventually going to happen to him. Its unfortunate that people are looking for someone other than him to blame.

David Vallinga
The fact that the corneal transplant failed because the man did not bother to follow the anti-rejection procedures says it all. He is obviously incapable of looking after himself; I would put him in the same boat as those who take too many party pills and then whine to ambulance-chaser journos when they wake up in hospital.

I think there is a need for lenses to be sold with appropriate use information and solution, but I do not think the sale should be restricted to optometrists. In the case reported in today’s story it seems like the person in question clearly did not follow the advise of the optometrist following surgery and this contributed to his loss of sight. Unfortunate but preventable.

Martin Dykes
This is ridiculous. The guy failed to follow the instructions he was given about wearing the contacts, then failed to follow the instructions he was given after his eye surgery. Its his own fault, and he is now facing the consequences of his actions. We dont need to ban the sale of contact lenses anywhere- we are all capable of making our own decisions and if you make a stupid decision, you learn from your mistake.

I work in an optometrist and problems like this are not uncommon. We often have to deal with the aftermath of people who have purchased their contacts from flea markets etc and have not received proper instructions, let alone the tests necessary to ensure the lenses sit correctly on the eye. One of the worst examples was a young girl who purchased some un-branded lenses from a sex shop. They came with no instructions and a small vial of solution of some sort obviously not sterile. It is a shame some people have the attitude that when it comes to contact lens examinations and buying lenses Optometry practises are out to make money. You only have one set of eyes, you would think people would do all they could to look after them.

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