It’s hard to ignore pop star Lady Gaga nowadays. She appears everywhere thanks to the tireless efforts of the paparazzi. In my opinion, she is basically today’s female version of Elton John, David Bowie, and Fee Waybill (The Tubes). Nothing new here. While I find her outrageous fashions too bizarre for girls and young women to follow, there is one unexpected trend that she has inspired-big eyes. In the video Bad Romance, Lady Gaga is shown frolicking in a bathtub while staring into the camera with enormous computer generated eyes. Hundreds of young women around the world have been trying to copy this by using an illegal product called Circle Lenses. Circle Lenses are considered cosmetic eye decorations but are also marketed as corrective lenses. They can be purchased without a prescription and are classified as contraband in the United States. Circle Lenses are imported from Asia and are widely available on-line selling for about $20-$30 a pair.
Circle Lenses come in different colors and are much larger than regular contact lenses. The edge of the lense extends beyond the iris and makes the eye open up more giving the user a doe-eyed appearance. The lenses are extremely popular in Asian countries where young women want to achieve the Anime look (based on the popular Japanese animation series). This trend has alarmed the Ophthalmology community prompting a stern warning from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In its statement, the AAO warned: “We 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 consumer. Inflammation and pain can occur from improperly fitted, over-the-counter lenses and lead to more serious problems including corneal abrasions and blinding infections.”