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Thursday, October 11, 2012

。◕ ‿ ◕。 Circle Lenses & You 。◕ ‿ ◕。

Hi hi~! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week. This post is going to be about circle lenses (shortened to CL for this post)! I went to the optometrist a few weeks ago and I received some shocking news.

I learned a lot about circle lenses and just eye care in general. I think a lot of people are unaware of the risks with circle lenses so I'm going to share some of that information with you today, as well as provide you with some alternatives.

In no way am I bashing CL's, in fact I am a CL wearer myself. I think you just have to be smart about what lenses you choose. Remember that your eyesight is precious and your health should always be a priority over vanity.
1. What are Circle Lenses? (shortened to CL for this post)
Circle lenses are special contact lenses that can alter the appearance of your eyes. They can give your eyes an "enlarging" effect, (usually these have a thick black ring around the outside). CL's also come in a variety of  sizes, colors and designs.
A popular CL series designed by Tsubasa Masuwaka herself.
I have used both of the bottom ones.
2. What's the difference between CL's and regular contacts?
CL's provide enlargement and better color/designs than regular colored lenses as regular lenses act to only enhance your natural eyes. You care for them the same way you would regular lenses. They are cheaper than regular lenses but they will put your eyes at risk to certain health concerns that I will explain later.

3. Can I get CL's with a prescription?
Yes. They are also available without a prescription.

4. How long can I wear CL's for?
I would say that you shouldn't wear them as long as regular lenses. Absolutely no more than 6 hours tops as the likelihood of your eyes becoming very dry and irritated increases the longer you have them in.

If there's anything else I need to cover, please let me know. I'm going to leave this FAQ open.
The Concerns
As many of you may (or may not) be aware, CL's can pose some pretty serious health concerns. Most CL's are made in Asia where the materials used to make the lenses are not approved by major health administrations (FDA, etc). In fact the Princess Mimi lenses I showed above are an example of lenses made with a material called "Phema". The use of this material is illegal here in Canada, and I believe in the US as well because of the health risks. 

To put it simply, it's a type of plastic-like material which limits the oxygen flow in your eyes. Our eyes don't have blood to supply oxygen so it absorbs it from around you. By placing a lens made of this material, it inhibits your eyes' ability to diffuse in oxygen which can cause Corneal Neovascularization. This is where the blood vessels in your eye grow into the cornea (ew.), which leads to vision problems later.

Another condition you could get is Giant Papilary Conjunctivitis I'll let you read the wiki because it's too gross for me to describe. I will say though, the shocking news I received is related to this. If you develop a severe enough case of GPC, you will never be able to wear contacts for the rest of your life.

These are just a few of the serious health concerns related to CL's. This is mostly due to the lack of quality in the materials they are made of. Hopefully in the future someone will be able to make CL's that are safer so that we don't have to risk our health for looks. If you ever want to know more, don't hesitate to contact your local eye care professionals.
My prescription lenses~
The Alternatives
Of course, the best alternative is to stick with normal transparent lenses. However I understand the need for color and enlargement, especially if you're into styles like Gyaru. There are brands like FreshKon and FreshLook that make lenses similar to CL's. The enlargement is obviously incomparable, but some of the colors actually look pretty similar! I was surprised when I tried a sample grey lens. It looked almost exactly like the Princess Mimi lenses in Sesame Grey. I'll have to make another post later to compare the colors because I haven't ordered them from my optometrist yet.

Another thing you can do if you choose to wear CL's is to replace them often and wear them less often. What I mean is, although CL's are disposable yearly (which my optometrist told me is also illegal/not done anymore) you should change them perhaps every 3 months. You should also only wear them when you really have to, maybe once or twice a week, as opposed to wearing them daily.
Circle lenses are pretty and fun but you should always remember your health comes first. Along with the alternative options, regular checkups with your eye care professional will help ensure your eyes last for the rest of your life. I understand that it will be hard to part with all the designs and colors. Even I won't be able to stop wearing them completely. I believe that everything in moderation is a really good rule of life, which is not limited to things such as alcohol or sweets. So if you use CL's in moderation, you'll be able to doll yourself up as well as save your eyes from a lot of potential damage!

I hope you found this post helpful and informative. I didn't mean to scare you off from CL's at all. I felt that after receiving such valuable information I was obligated to share it with everyone out there.

If there's anything that I should add or change about this post, please let me know! Don't hesitate to share it with fellow circle lens users. You could help save someone's eyes!

Until my next post. Take care everyone!
Strawberry On Top Of Cupcake