Life Eye Health

Friday 24 November 2017

Coloured lenses are a risk to sight, say opticians

Lady Gaga. Photo: Reuters
Lady Gaga. Photo: Reuters

Martin Hickman in London

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 €27.

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 said: "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.

She said: "If they're not fitted properly, they can induce sight-threatening complications, such as abnormal blood vessel growth in the cornea." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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