Colored contacts are a fun way to temporarily change your look. However, when used incorrectly, the infection and irritation caused by these decorative lenses can lead you to resemble something out of your childhood nightmares. This is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) thought it would be appropriate to team up with the crew from the popular TV show American Horror Story to remind the public why it’s important to leave some things to the professionals.
For those of you not familiar with the show, one of the main characters sustains gruesome eye injuries caused by a combination of an acid attack and being pierced by garden sheers. Brutal, I know. In reality, however, the look is pulled off by the careful coordination of an optometrist and the show’s expert makeup team. All too often, when people try to pull off similar looks without professional help, serious eye damage and even blindness can occur, Live Science reported.
In a joint effort to curb the number of eye injuries caused by improper use of colored contacts, the FDA, the American Optometric Association, and the Entertainment Industries Council released an informative video on contact lens safety. In the video, professional makeup artists and optometrists explain to viewers the complex process that leads to the look they see on the show. Its goal is to get the public to “take the message to heart,” regarding lens safety, by showing “the lengths professional makeup artists go to,” Dr. Helene Clayton-Jeter, an optometrist and health programs coordinator at the FDA, told Live Science.
“You only have one set of eyes, you have your vision and you have to take care of that,” Christien Tinsley, the makeup effects designer for American Horror Story explained in one of the videos. The artists explain how they do not have an endless supply of colored contact lenses, but there is in fact, a “special process” which involves the design, fitting, and sterilization process, Eryn Krueger Makash, lead makeup artist for the show, explained. Before an actor is fitted with the lenses they need to have an eye exam to make sure the eyes are healthy. This is important because, if the contacts fit incorrectly, the eye will not be able to receive the nourishment that it needs.
A corneal abrasion is one of the most common eye injuries caused by improper contact lens use. This injury puts an individual at an increased risk for infections. They are usually treated with antibiotic drops or ointment to protect against this risk for infection, according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.