A New York girl needs a cornea transplant after she illegally purchased a pair of colored contacts at a local beauty store, WPIX.com reported.
Erica Barnes reportedly bought the $20 contacts at a store on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, N.Y., because she wanted to be like singer Rihanna – and all her friends were doing it, too. She wore the lenses for one day and fell asleep with them in her eyes.
“For $20, she lost her eye,” said Erica’s step-mother, Trina Swain. “Every parent should know their girls are in danger. They are dangerous eye candy that our children can buy anywhere.”
Under federal law, you need a prescription from a doctor to purchase contact lenses – and they should be purchased from a licensed health care provider, who can teach you how to use them and take care of them.
Erica was told she could clean them with tap water – not saline solution.
Dr. Jules Winokur, a corneal specialist in New York City, said contact lenses purchased from beauty stores often don’t fit properly and the salespeople who sell them don’t give proper advice on how to take care of them or how to use them.
He said he sees several people come to his office with infections because they use such lenses, and he advises it’s not a good idea.