Fri, Dec 03, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Public cautioned over eyewash

HEALTH HAZARD:In addition to warning about the misuse of eyewash, the Consumers’ Foundation advised customers to look for the mark that indicates items are officially certified

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

The Consumers’ Foundation yesterday cautioned consumers against inappropriate use of eyewash solution to prevent serious eye problems such as corneal ulcers.

The consumer rights watchdog said that eyewash solution has gained popularity in recent years, especially among young office workers because they often have to spend long hours staring at a computer screen.

Many young women also use eyewash solution to wash away the residue of eye make-up that refuses to budge after applying eye make-up remover.

Eyewash solutions typically come with a plastic cup to be filled with 5ml to 10ml of liquid. The user then typically takes the cup and places it over the eye, inverting it to immerse the eyeball in the fluid.

Despite the eyewash solution’s popularity, Lin Long-kuang (林隆光), an optometrist who serves in the foundation’s health committee, said consumers should know that natural tears produced by the eye or artificial eye drops are far better than eyewash.

Even though many eyewash products claim that it is safe to use them as many as six times a day, Lin advised consumers against using eyewash so frequently.

“If the eyewash solution is used inappropriately, serious eye problems could arise,” he said. “In severe cases, the user may even develop corneal ulcers.”

The foundation said that when mild symptoms such as dry or sore eyes occur, it is best to blink several times, take breaks to allow one’s eyes to rest or use artificial eye drops. If the condition persists, or if redness or swelling occurs, a doctor should be consulted before using eyewash, the foundation said.

The foundation also advised those who are shopping for eyewash to look for the mark that indicates the product has passed certification requirements enforced by the Department of Health.

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