It seems that the latest trend of looking like a wide-eyed doll (or a deer caught in the headlights) is more serious than simply strange. Eccentric pop star Lady Gaga’s new look in her ‘Bad Romance’ music video sees her donning colored contact lenses that make the colored part of the eye appear larger because they cover not only the pupil and iris but also some of the white part of the eye.
Available in bright unusual colors, the lenses (called Circle Lenses) are becoming increasingly popular among teenagers. So what’s wrong with all this you may ask? Surely, it’s just an innocent fashion trend? Apparently not…
You see firstly, the Circle Lenses can be bought without a prescription. Secondly, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has issued the following statement regarding the potential health risks associated with the lenses:
“New decorative contact lenses called circle lenses are an emerging and potentially dangerous trend among teenagers and young adults. In response to this, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) would like to alert consumers to the hazards of buying any decorative lenses, including circle lenses, without a prescription. Any type of contact lens is a medical device that requires a prescription, proper fitting by an eye care professional and a commitment to proper care by the consumer.
“Inflammation and pain can occur from improperly fitted, over-the-counter lenses and lead to more serious problems including corneal abrasions and blinding infections.
“Although over-the-counter sales of nonprescription ‘plano’ cosmetic lenses have been illegal in the United States since 2005, they are still widely available without prescription in retail stores and on the Internet. In 2005, an Academy-backed federal law classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye care professionals.
“To protect your eyes, all contact lenses must be fitted by an eye care professional. If you have any pain, burning, redness, tearing or sensitivity to light while wearing any type of contact lenses, see your ophthalmologist, an Eye M.D. For more information about contact lenses, go to www.geteyesmart.org.”
It’s pretty obvious that you should always be careful when putting anything near your eyes, let alone in them. However, fashion trends and fads tend to sometimes override common sense so parents should be careful when buying these contact lenses for their teenage kids.