Friday, July 9, 2010

Gaga Contacts, Not so healthy trend

Celebrities can be positive or not-so-positive role models for teenagers. But some teens are trying a new trend that could be dangerous for their health.

Lady Gaga is known for her over the top lifestyle. Tweens all over the world look to her for fashion advice, and try to mimic her trends and fads. But one trend that's catching on can be very harmful to your eyes. They're called circle contacts -- made to give your eyes a doe - like look.

"They're not necessarily larger contact lenses. They've got a lot of the coloring to the edge to the outside edge, so some of the coloring on the lens actually extends over onto the white part of the eye called the sclera. So it makes the colored part of your eye look much larger than it truly is," said Dr. Dan Hayden of Specs.

But they're not FDA approved. Over-the-counter sales of non-prescription cosmetic lenses have been illegal in the United States since 2005.

"We don't know how it's made, we don't know if it's done under a sterile environment and then a patient or a person is on the internet and is ordering a contact lens and deciding for themselves what's a good fit or not," says Hayden

This trend of decorative or cosmetic lenses started in South Korea. That's where most of the contacts come from... There and Japan. The long term effects of these contacts can be permanently damaging to your eyes.

"You're setting yourself up for infection, for one, infection that could potentially be blinding. There are corneal infections that can go through the eye, perforate the cornea, and cause an ulceration and have long lasting vision loss as well as blindness," says Hayden

You can special order colored or decorative contacts from your eye doctor. But it's important to remember that they know what to look for when fitting contacts to your eyes.

"For any type of contact lens you want to see an eye care professional, an ophthalmologist, an optometrist. You need to have your eyes measured, you need to have your vision tested, you need to get a prescription and you need to be taught how to care for them," says Dr. Jennifer Ashford, Early Show Medical Correspondent.

"There are some products in the US that are FDA approved and then we go though that whole process - we fit it. We want the lens to fit correctly. We're going to go through how we want you to put it in, how we want you to take it out, how we want you to clean it. We'll go through that whole process with them. It's all done under one umbrella," Hayden said.

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