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CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-3945
e-mail: thomas-moore@uiowa.edu

Release: Oct. 2, 2002

UI eye specialist warns of potential dangers of special effects contact lenses

A University of Iowa Health Care eye specialist is reminding users of special effects contact lenses to wear them properly to reduce the risk of potentially serious problems.

Special effects contact lenses contain images that alter the appearance of the eyes, such as changing brown eyes to blue, or making a person's eyes look like those of a cat. Sports fans can even order special effects contacts lens that bear the logo of their favorite team.

"Special effects contact lenses are very popular this time of year, especially as we approach Halloween," said Christine Sindt, an optometrist and director of the Contact Lens Service at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "Special effects contact lenses can contain almost any image that patients request."

Sindt does have a few words of caution, however. All contact lens users must remove and clean their lenses as instructed. Also, serious problems can develop if special effects contact lenses are not fitted properly or worn by more than one person.

"If contact lenses are not fitted properly, or are shared by friends and acquaintances, ulcers and infections can occur," Sindt explained. "All contact lens patients should only wear lenses that are specifically prescribed for them, and no one should ever use any contact lenses that were worn by someone else."

Prices for special effects contact lenses begin at $25 per lens. For more information, contact the Iowa Eye Institute at (319) 356-2916, or visit the UI department of ophthalmology and visual sciences online at www.uihealthcare.com/depts/med/ophthalmology/index.html.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.