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Lady Gaga's Dangerous Trend

Lady Gaga's got style. She's a trend-setter, but one trend could be dangerous.

In her video "Bad Romance," Gaga's wearing contact lenses designed to enlarge the iris of her eye. The style is catching on with fans. However, these cosmetic lenses have a few drawbacks: they're illegal in the U.S. and they could cause severe damage to your eyesight.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton shared the details Tuesday morning on "The Early Show."

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Ashton noted the trend began in South Korea.

"They're very popular in Asia for giving people like a doe-eyed look, making the eyes look very large, and it's because the contact lens part actually extends beyond the iris or the colored part of the eye and in doing so makes the eye look a little bit larger. Purely cosmetic."

Ashton explained these types of contact lenses are over-the-counter and are not prescribed or regulated by an eye care professional.
Ashton said infections are common.

"In some cases, rarely (infections can) can even lead to blindness," Ashton said. "Absent those things, corneal ulcers, scratches or abrasions in the corner of the eye, impairing vision either from the tears or from infection, and depriving the eye of oxygen all can set up the risk of infection and in rare cases, blindness."

She added, "You do not want to mess with this. And we've seen colored contact lenses become popular years and years ago go. This is kind of the newest version of that trend. Purely cosmetic when you're talking about contact lenses. You have to remember they were initially designed to treat vision problems -- not to make you look better."

"Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge remarked that these lenses are readily available on the internet.

Ashton said, "A lot of them are manufactured in Asia where there is no guideline or supervision over the way these are made."

So if you want to use legal decorative contact lenses, Ashton suggests using them sparingly.

"For any type of contact lens, you want to see an eye care professional," Ashton said. "You need have your eyes measured, you need to have your vision tested, you need to get a prescription, and you need to be taught how to care for them."

To all the teenagers and tweens watching "The Early Show" who say Lady Gaga looks cool, Ashton shared this advice: "(It's) not worth your vision."