Lady Gaga's wide-eyes spark contact lens craze

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Stars create fashion trends everyday, but Lady Gaga takes the cake for the most radical. She's sparked a contact lens craze inspired by the wide-eyed look in her Bad Romance music video. Circle Lenses can recreate this look, but if they are not prescribed by an eye doctor these lenses are illegal and could be harmful to your health.

"Girls want to have the dolls eye, animated look and so they put these circle lenses on and they make their eyes look huge´ said Dr. Menard, an ophthalmologist from the Menard Eye Center.

He says these lenses are most often bought on the Internet, not from a doctor's office.

"If anyone's wearing them in the United States they either spent a good bit of money having them custom made and fit by an eye doctor or they ordered them off of a non-reputable Internet site usually overseas," said Dr. Menard

You can already buy colored contact lenses from your eye doctor, but circle lenses will have to be custom made and could be pricey. Companies from outside the United States sell the lenses at a lower cost, but Dr. Menard warns that you cannot be sure if it is a sanitary product.

"There are no FDA regulations. There's no telling what you're getting and how it was stores, how it was doctor's even made sure it fits your they really can be dangerous on just a number of levels," explained Dr. Menard.

The lenses online will cost only $20 or $30, but Dr. Menard says the low price could mean low quality as well.

"Worst case scenario you could go blind and you could get an eye infection bad enough it can actually get in your blood stream and could have medical problems," said Dr. Menard.

Soft lenses can absorb liquid like a sponge, so if improperly stored, they can become breeding grounds for infection. Dr. Menard says companies who make circle lenses are not looking out for customers' safety.

"They don't have any rules to abide by so whatever makes them the most profit… which means get the lens out the door and get the money in the bank they don't care about you," said Dr. Menard.

Although the look is inspired by Lady Gaga's "doe-eyed" look in her music video, it is not proven she wore circle lenses for the video. The look could have been computer generated instead.

Legal contact lenses in the United States have to be fit by an eye doctor and then prescribed, so while the trend may look cool, for an affordable lens you will have to shop the black market.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.