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News, Society

News Break: Teen Loses Sight After Buying $20 Colored Contact Lenses From Beauty Supply Store

Buying contact lenses from a beauty supply store that has jars of Hawaiian Silky from the Reagan Era collecting dust is never a good idea.

The desire to look like celebrities might be fueling the craze for colored contact lenses. For Erica Barnes, her decision to change her look nearly cost her vision.

“I couldn’t open my eyes and every time I tried it started hurting more,” says Barnes.

The 14 year old had only worn them for a day but that was enough to damage her cornea. Her doctor says even after her infection is cured, she will have a scar, and will likely need a corneal transplant.

Federal law says any contacts, even those for cosmetic purposes, can only be purchased with a valid prescription, but Erica says she picked hers up at beauty store for twenty bucks. Doctors say they’ve had other teenage patients with the same issue as Erica.

“The population that is targeted here is a very vulnerable population of young teenage girls who will do a lot for cosmetic purposes, and it’s absolutely illegal,” says Dr. Anne Steiner.

http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designvideo/embeddedPlayer.swf

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