Purpose: To call attention to the unauthorized sale of cosmetic contact lenses, resulting in ocular complications. DESIGN Observational case report.
Methods: Retrospective, observational, clinical practice setting.
Results: Six patients (five female and one male) were seen urgently for acute eye pain and redness after wearing cosmetic plano contact lenses. None of the patients had previously worn a contact lens or spectacle correction. None of the lenses were dispensed by eye care professionals. One patient developed pseudomonal keratitis, ultimately requiring penetrating keratoplasty for visual rehabilitation.
Conclusions: Colored contact lenses are being dispensed without a prescription or fitting from unlicensed vendors, such as cosmetics, convenience, and accessory stores. Lenses are sold individually and without care instructions. Consequently, uninformed lens wearers are experiencing acute, vision-threatening infections and inflammation.