I have posted a couple of stories this week about 'Circle' or 'Anime' style contact lenses that have grown exponentially in popularity, thanks in part to music videos from Lady Gaga.  Below is the official response from the American Optometric Association:

The American Optometric Association (AOA) Statement Regarding Circle Contact Lenses

Patient safety and access to adequate eye care is always our concern. With the growing interest in “circle lenses,” colored plano and prescription contact lenses imported primarily from Asia, the AOA is once again working to inform consumers of the risk of these illegal lenses. And, last month, AOA staff led one of the largest meetings of federal officials concerned about the illegal sale of these and other decorative contact lenses, convened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“With the FDA’s focus of ‘Protecting and Promoting Health,’ the recent gathering served as an outstanding platform to brainstorm with FDA officials,” states Joe E. Ellis, O.D. President of the American Optometric Association.  “We found that FDA officials were shocked, as well as dismayed, by how easy these lenses can be obtained, and how aggressively adolescents and young adults are targeted.”

The AOA is responding to numerous requests for information and interviews from media outlets across the country.  “We are working with the consumer media to encourage people to visit an eye care professional and get a proper prescription.  A beauty fad is not worth causing problems with your sight,” adds Dr. Ellis.

Consumers should not use any contact lenses, whether they are circle lenses, or otherwise, without a proper examination and prescription by an eye care professional.  Risks associated with the improper use of decorative contact lenses include conjunctivitis, corneal swelling, eye infection, allergic reaction and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit and/or improper lens care.  Additional problems may result in a reduction of visual acuity, diminished contrast sensitivity, or reduced peripheral vision and other general eye and vision impairments.  Optometrists are encouraged to report any violations of the sale of contact lenses, or any adverse health consequences, to AOA’s Washington office.