Pop culture trends are creating some dangerous vision problems.

Lady Gaga’s fans are putting their vision at risk by attempting to copy her huge, anime-style eyes as seen in the Bad Romance video. Although Gaga’s gigantic peepers were computer generated, fans are copying the look with illegal Circle contact lenses obtained without a prescription on foreign websites.

These contacts are larger than normal lenses and cover more of the sclera or white part of the eye to create an exaggerated appearance of the eyes. They can cause significant, permanent damage to the eye if they do not fit your eyes properly. This requires a contact lens evaluation by an Optometrist. Potential problems include impaired vision, conjunctivitis (pink eye), swelling, redness, corneal abrasion, scarring, and insufficient oxygen due to the larger, tighter contact lenses that allow less tear exchange and oxygen to the eye. No beauty fad is worth damaging your eyes or causing an infection.

There are safe and legal soft contact lenses with the dark limbal ring, but these lenses are going to be discontinued by the manufacturer as of 10/31/10. You do need a prescription for these lenses, and yes, they look fabulous on your eyes!

This You Tube video describing how to create the “big eyes” from Lady Gaga’s video has received more than 9 million views. Many girls who obtain these Illegal Contact lenses do not care for them properly and use them for longer than they should be worn for which can also hurt your eyes. Remember, contact lenses are medical devices, not make up.

Dr. Elise Brisco

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