September 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts September 2003 Current Issue
September 2003
Short Cuts:

Hue and Cry

Cosmetic contact lenses, which change eye color but do not correct vision, are now sold in beach shops, video arcades and even convenience stores. But the health price for making those brown eyes blue might be debilitating, warns the Food & Drug Administration (

In October 2002, the FDA issued a formal statement on the use of decorative lenses and identified these potential risks:

  • Corneal ulcers, which can cause symptoms such as eye pain, redness, tearing and discharge. Left untreated, they can result in scarring, vision impairment and even blindness.
  • Conjunctivitis, an infection and inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the eyelids and eyeball. The infection is easily transmitted by the swapping of lenses between users.
  • Corneal abrasions, thin scratches on the outer layer of the eye. These occur when cosmetic lenses, not fitted by a doctor, do not sit properly against the eye.
  • For more information, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology at


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