The Chicago Tribune (1/14, Stein) reports that “circle lenses,” the contacts shaped like abnormally large eyes that have proven popular with teenage girls in Asia, are now “hitting American shores, where over-the-counter sales of nonprescription cosmetic contact lenses are illegal.” The improperly fitting contacts have drawn scrutiny over fears that they “can cause short- or long-term eye damage, ranging from allergic reactions to corneal ulcers or corneal scarring.” Melanie Pickett, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at Indiana University’s School of Medicine, warned that the contacts could also “induce sight-threatening complications, such as abnormal blood vessel growth in the cornea,” which could ultimately lead to permanent vision impairment.

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