Contact lenses can help to transform people's lives by providing them with hitherto unknown visual clarity, but they are also medical products and should be treated as such, one expert has pointed out.
Dr Catharine Chisholm, president of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), noted that people with varying vision issues, ranging from presbyopia to myopia, may find that contact lenses can help to solve their problem.
However, the expert pointed out that before people attempt to buy contact lenses, they will require a prescription for them, and this must be obtained from an eyecare professional.
An expert can assess their vision and recommend the correct prescription for them, to ensure that they get the best possible lenses.
This is particularly true when people are using specialist contact lenses which have the ability to do more than simply enhance people's visual acuity, the expert pointed out.
"When it comes to medical devices, such as lenses to monitor glaucoma or diabetes, specialist contact lens practitioners can work with medical practitioners to fit and monitor the lenses and the health of the eye," Ms Chisolm explained.
Such lenses may only be used for short periods of time anyway, she noted, adding that when it comes to the devices for providing 'head-up' information, it really depends on whether they are registered as a medical device or not.
"Really they should be, as they will have the potential to damage the eye if not fitted correctly and monitored regularly. As for any contact lens, there is potential for damage through reduced oxygen, infection, mechanical damage," the expert added.
It comes after a recent global survey released today by Bausch + Lomb has found that less than one third of people are taking the basic steps necessary to preserve their eyesight.
In its Barometer of Global Eye Health, the contact lens manufacturer analysed consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviours related to eye health, and found that not enough people are getting regular eye exams, with their reasons for doing so varying greatly.