Prescription contact lenses do not make the pupil of the eye appear larger. However, there is a growing trend of women wearing circle contact lenses, which make the eyes appear large and childlike in appearance.
Circle Contact Lenses
Contact lenses sold without a prescription is illegal under U.S. law, but women in America and overseas are clamoring for circle contact lenses. Circle contacts make eyes appear larger than they are, with an almost doe-like, anime look. The large-eye look has been popularized by many Asian women in South Korea, Japan, Singapore and other countries. According to The New York Times, the look created by wearing circle contacts is known as Ulzzang in Korea, which is short for “best face” or “pretty.”
Many optometrists have voiced concern that the cosmetic circular contact lenses are risky. Circle contacts are not as permeable as standard prescription contacts, so enough oxygen may not reach the eyes. Circle contacts may scratch the eyes' surface due to improper fit and lead to bacterial infection. Swelling, allergic reaction and possible temporary or permanent sight loss are also possible risks of circle contacts, according to CNN.
Circle contacts have become a growing trend in the United States and across the world. The lenses cost around $20 to $30 a pair, and women worldwide share tips online on where they can purchase them illegally. Many everyday wearers of circle contact lenses see them as harmless, comparing popping in the lenses to wearing mascara or eyeliner.
- NYDailyNews.com: Girls Clamor for 'Circle' Contact Lenses Inspired By Lady Gaga, but They're Risky and Illegal; Rosemary Black; July 7, 2010
- The New York Times: Fashion & Style--What Big Eyes You Have, Dear, but are Those Contacts Risky?; Catherine Saint Louis; July 3, 2010
- CNN Health: The Chart--A 'Bad Romance' Between Eye-Popping Contact Lenses and Optometrists
Alex Smith began writing professionally in 2010. Her writing focuses on topics in culture, society and technology. She attended the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago.