Just as Little Red Riding Hood remarked to the wolf/grandmother, "what big eyes you have," the same thought is being expressed today in the New York Times as "the circle lens" -- colored contact lenses that make the eye resemble an Anime feature -- make their way across the United States, purchased from online sites. And certainly, the FDA is seeing these illegal contact lenses as wolves in sheep's clothing, as buyers place unregulated items inside their eyes.
In other words, in order to look like you're out of a Miyazaki movie, you risk blindness and other eye injuries.
Circle lenses come in both prescription and non-prescription strength, but holding aside for the moment problems that can arise from wearing improperly prescribed lenses, even those that don't alter your vision come with the possibility of infection, corneal ulcers, or scratches.
The fact is that an eye doctor isn't only testing your vision; a good eye doctor will also explain the proper way to care for your lenses and eyes. It's this missing information that comes from ordering lenses online from non-medical sites that is the most detrimental to a person's eye health.
More interesting is the idea that our natural instinct for self-preservation gets overridden in the desire to emulate celebrities. The New York Times quotes a wearer who admits that she was not going to go along with the trend at first, but then "saw how many students at Rutgers had circle lenses — and the groundswell of users online — she relented."
While it's simple to learn how to replicate the look, such as the video below with nearly 10 million views since January--it is much harder to find sound advice on actually wearing these types of contacts safely.
Couple that with the fact that illegal lens providers are giving incentives to customers who write effusively about their product online or create YouTube videos about wearing circle lenses and you quite literally may one day have the blind leading the blind--and not just in the figurative sense.
What do you think of this trend? Would you risk your vision to take part in getting the Lady Gaga look?
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