They’re selling online from Korea at Pinky Paradise, from Japan at Tokyo Shine, from Canada at Lenscircle, but you won’t find them for sale on U.S. websites because the unregulated sale of Circle Lenses violates U.S. law. Buyers of contacts online in the U.S. must have a valid prescription.
Lady Gaga Video Creates Demand for Circle Lenses
Circle Lenses became a hot item when Lady Gaga appeared in a video with oversize eyes. While Lady Gaga’s oversize eyes in Bad Romance are believed to have been computer generated, fans captivated by the look flocked to the web to find out where to buy contacts that would make their eyes appear larger than life. Circle Lenses, already popular in Asia where they mimic the anime eyes of cartoon characters, found a new following in the United States.
Circle Lenses Deprive Eyes of Oxygen
Any contact lenses may be dangerous to eye health when used improperly. Unregulated internet sales- particularly to people who don’t need contacts and have never been briefed on proper contact use and care- is a danger with any contact lenses. But Circle Lenses carry a heightened risk because they cover part of the whites of the eyes. This added coverage is essential to creating the doe-eyed look Circle Lens users desire, but by covering the white of the eye, the Circle Lens deprives the eye of necessary oxygen.
Improperly Fitting Circle Lenses Can Scratch Cornea
Random online purchase of Circle Lens, without a fitting by an optometrist means that many Circle Lens users will end up with ill-fitting contacts. People who use contacts to improve their vision know that fit is essential with contact lenses. Optometrists take careful measurements of the curvature of the eye- and even then some brands tend to fit better than others. Without a fitting, Circle Lens buyers are shooting in the dark. A contact that doesn’t fit correctly can scratch and damage the cornea.
Overuse of Circle Lenses Can Cause Eye Damage, Infections
Buyers of Circle Lenses may not understand the importance of knowing whether the contacts are daily wear or extended wear and following the guidelines for use. Overuse of contacts including Circle Lenses can damage the cornea and promote eye infections.
Improper Cleaning of Circle Lenses Can Cause Eye Infections
Cleaning a contact lens properly is not as easy as picking up a bottle of no rub cleaner and squirting it on the lens, even if advertising tends to give that impression. Proper cleaning of contacts including Circle Lenses is essential to eye health. The FDA says that professional groups of optometrists and opthamologists recommend rubbing contacts to clean them even when using no-rub solutions. It is important to remove protein build up.
Other contact cleaning essentials include cleaning hands before cleaning contacts, letting contacts air dry, and refraining from using tap water to clean contacts. Eye care specilists brief contacts users on proper care and cleaning of contact lenses, but who provides this information to fashion-happy teens unfamiliar with contact use buying Circle Lenses online?
What Circle Lens Sellers Do and Don’t Reveal on Their Websites
A review of the websites selling Circle Lens mentioned earlier shows no use and care instructions for Circle Lenses, no cleaning instructions. The water content, base curve and diameter of the lens is specified on the websites selling Circle Lenses, but how many teenagers buying Circle Lens as part of a fashion trend can use this information effectively if they are not contact lens wearers comparing the specs to their prescribed lenses?
The websites selling Circle Lenses require the purchasers to select lens power from zero correction through -8.00. Will buyers whose vision is starting to deteriorate be tempted to experiment with slight correction when buying Circle Lenses online rather than visiting an eye specialist for an evaluation?
Sources: http://pinkyparadise.com/webshaper/store/bestSellers.asp; http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/fashion/04lenses.html?_r=1&ref=fashion.; http://www.fda.gov/ForHealthProfessionals/ArticlesofInterest/ucm211838.htm; http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/contact.lenses.html.