An optometrist, Dr Echendu Damian, has advised against these practices saying they could lead to vision impairment and blindness.
He said people should desist from engaging in practices such as applying urine, breast milk, kerosene and other chemicals in the eyes saying they all have negative effects on the eyes.
Optometrists are medical specialists involved in measuring eyesight, prescribing corrective lenses and detecting and treating eye diseases among others.
Dr Echendu who is also the President of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), advised against getting eye glasses from street vendors and non-eye specialists. He said the people should go to a hospital or see a qualified eye specialist or optometrist who will examine and prescribe the right glasses or medications for them if need be.
He said the eye is a very important organ that cannot be replaced like the arms, legs and other parts of the body and so people need to be careful about what they put in them.
The expert said it is important for people to go for routine eye checkup, at least once a year, to prevent eye diseases and to keep them healthy. He also advised people to protect their eyes from sunlight.
Asked if people could buy sun shades from shops and hawkers as is commonly done, he advised against it, saying there are different kinds of sunshades and it is best to see an eye specialist to get the right and appropriate one.
While advising the public not to patronize quacks for eye care, he called on government to provide adequate equipment and qualified personnel in health facilities to improve eye care.
He said there is dearth of optometrists in public hospitals in the local government areas thereby leading to poor access to eye care for rural dwellers.
Speaking on the golden jubilee celebration of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) and 42nd Annual General Meeting, Dr Echendu said many optometry graduates find it difficult to get a place for their housemanship and employment.
He said the association has 4,000 registered members in the country, noting that in spite of the critical role they play in health care, government employs only very few of them in public health institutions and hospitals.
This, he said, has led to over 80% of them practicing in the private sector.
According to him, the situation has also led to many optometrists going to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and other countries in droves to practice.
He said: “Many of our 3,200 members, engaged in private practice are leaving the shores of this country for hospitals in Asia and the Middle-East, especially Saudi Arabia, because the government has not been engaging them.
“So we want the government to engage more of our members in the public sector. It can employ one more optometrist in each local government. At worse one in each senatorial district to serve more citizens, particularly in the rural areas.”
He said the association is a subscriber to major global efforts aimed at eradicating avoidable blindness as a public health concern and will as part of its 50th anniversary celebration carry out public-targeted activities such as the “My Sight My Right” child eye health initiative which extends quality eye care services to children between the ages of 5 and 14 across the country, and unveiling a publication on optometry in Nigeria among others.
He said the association recently partnered with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to conduct a nationwide drivers’ vision survey, for research information that could generate a policy document on driving and vision in Nigeria.