Fashion for coloured contact lenses poses eyesight threat
A trend for wearing coloured contact lenses inspired by the pop singer Lady Gaga could damage people's eyes, opticians warn.
Teenagers have taken to wearing circle contact lenses, which make the eyes look bigger, after the New Yorker wore them in her video for the song "Bad Romance".
They achieve their effect by covering part of the white area of the eye, the sclera, which ophthalmologists warn could cause allergies, scarring and infection, risking blindness.
Circle lenses come in a variety of colours such as bright pink and red, and can be bought from foreign websites for around £20, without an eye examination or a prescription. Popular with teenage girls and women in their twenties, they imitate the round, oversize eyes of Japanese anime characters.
Dr James Salz, an ophthalmology professor at the University of Southern California, said: "There are bound to be complications from the way they're being dispensed."
Dr Salz, also a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told the Chicago Tribune: "Kids are going online and buying them like they're an earring or a nose ring. They're not being fit[ted], and all eyes aren't the same shape; some have steeper curves of the cornea, and some eyes are larger or smaller."
Dr Melanie Pickett, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at Indiana University School of Medicine, warned that the lenses could fit too tightly. That could decrease the amount of oxygen reaching the eye and if untreated, she said, "the blood vessels can grow through the line of sight, causing permanent vision impairment".
Problems ranged from allergic reactions to corneal ulcers or corneal scarring, she added. She said: "If they're not fitted properly, they can induce sight-threatening complications, such as abnormal blood vessel growth in the cornea."
Dr Assumpta Madu, from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said: "There literally is potential for somebody to lose their vision within 24 hours from an infection."
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...