WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cosmetic contact lenses
that give wearers an exaggerated "doe-eyed" look are "an emerging
and potentially dangerous trend among teenagers and young adults,"
the American Academy of Ophthalmology warned in a statement
The "circle" lens extends beyond the iris and, in doing so,
makes the eye appear larger. Their use among the young increased
recently after pop star Lady Gaga displayed the look in her "Bad
Romance" music video,
The New York Times reported.
"I've noticed a lot of girls in my town have started to wear them a lot," 16-year-old Melody Vue, from Morganton, N.C., told the Times. Vue said she owns 22 pairs and wears them regularly.
According to the AAO, over-the-counter sales of nonprescription
cosmetic lenses has been banned by law in the United States since
2005, but they are available online. All contact lenses are
classified as medical devices and can only be distributed through
licensed eye care professionals.
In its statement, the AAO said it "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
The eye doctors' group also noted that "inflammation and pain
can occur from improperly fitted, over-the-counter lenses and lead
to more serious problems including corneal abrasions and blinding
The AAO urged that all contact lenses be fitted by a trained
professional, and that anyone who develops "pain, burning, redness,
tearing or sensitivity to light while wearing any type of contact
lenses," should consult an ophthalmologist.
There's more on contact lens safety at the
American Academy of Ophthalmology.