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Cheap contact lenses cost teenager sight

Recuperating in the ophthalmology ward at KEM Hospital in Parel, Salman Khan, 19, is grappling with the sudden loss of vision in his left eye. He swears never to touch cheap coloured contact lenses again.

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2011 00:41 IST
HT Correspondent

Recuperating in the ophthalmology ward at KEM Hospital in Parel, Salman Khan, 19, is grappling with the sudden loss of vision in his left eye. He swears never to touch cheap coloured contact lenses again.

“The patient developed corneal abscess and lost vision in one eye. It is possible that using inferior quality lenses and not maintaining proper hygiene led to the problem,” said Dr Saroj Sahdev, professor and head, ophthalmology department, KEM Hospital.

Khan was admitted to the hospital on June 12 after he complained of pain, redness and pus in his left eye. “I had bought the lenses for Rs 100 from a small shop near my house eight days ago. I used them once and gave them to my friend to use,” said Khan.

Coloured contact lenses are popular among youngsters but doctors warn that lack of hygiene and inferior quality of lenses could lead to eye infections. “There are several people like Khan who use lenses for cosmetic purposes and do so without proper medical supervision or advice,” said Sahdev.

Borivli resident, Kejal Joshi, 19, developed corneal abscess in her left eye after wearing coloured contact lenses. Joshi was admitted to KEM Hospital on June 11. “I have been using coloured contact lenses for some time now. But, this time when I removed the lenses, my left eye became red and starting watering and a small white patch appeared on the cornea,” said Joshi.

Joshi said she bought the lenses in mid-May and then left them in the lens solution for seven days before using them. “It is crucial to change the contact lens solution every day,” said Dr Sahdev.

While Joshi has recovered 40% vision in her left eye, Khan is still struggling with the infection. “He might require a corneal transplant,” said Dr Sahdev.