| Cosmetic contact lenses are gaining popularity among young Beijingers. (Source: China Daily/Chen Lijie)
BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhaunet) -- Looking good trumps health concerns as cosmetic lenses attract the eyes of the trendy, Todd Balazovic and Wang Wen report
Beijing girls may be risking their sight in a bid to make their eyes look bigger and brighter with eye-popping circle lenses. The bright-eyed fad has captivated young Beijingers who want bigger and often more colorful eyes that look like those of cartoon anime characters.
The cosmetic contacts, which were once common on the sets of horror and zombie movies, are sold at scores of shops carrying top brands from South Korea.
But optometrists warn that girls may be stumbling into a number of sight-related problems on their mission to achieve bigger, wider irises.
"The lenses can scratch or poke a hole in the cornea, which basically makes you go blind," said Beijing optometrist Li Zhong, president of the Intech Eye Hospital.
In addition to potentially damaging the eyes, he said the lenses also greatly increase the risk of infections, such as pink eye and deprive the eye area of much-needed oxygen.
"I don't understand why people want to wear these things," Li said.
Circle lenses are a topic that hits close to home for Li. He was shocked to find his 20-year-old daughter wearing them after she returned home from studying in the US.