Costume contact lens 'rips off' layer of woman's eyeball

A make-up artist has revealed how her Halloween turned into a ‘real-life nightmare’ – as she claims a costume contact lens ripped off the outer layer of her eyeball, leaving her bedridden for a week and fearing she’d go blind.

Jordyn Oakland dressed up as a ‘cannibal aesthetician’ last Halloween, buying an all-black set of cosmetic lenses from Dolls Kill to complete the look.

But when the 27-year-old took them out, she says her right eye felt like it was ‘stuck’, so pulled harder on it, giving her the sensation of a ‘really bad scratch’.

The next morning Jordyn woke up in ‘excruciating pain’ and could barely open her eye as it was so swollen.

After speeding to A&E in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, she was told the lens had removed the outer layer of her cornea and there could be a chance she’d need surgery, perhaps even losing her eyesight altogether.

‘Miraculously’, Jordyn’s eye began to heal over the next few days, but her vision has continued to worsen. Doctors told her she may have Recurrent Corneal Erosion – meaning she could wake up one morning and have the same ‘frightening’ thing happen again.

Jordyn said of the incident: ‘It was a real-life nightmare on Halloween. It was something I never expected to happen.

‘It was very frightening. There was a handful of days where my vision was completely blurry and I couldn’t see anything out of my eye. I was afraid that I would become blind in my right eye.

‘I’d never wear costume contacts again unless they’re made by a specialist who had really informed me that they’re very safe to wear.’

Jordyn, who’s used contacts in the past, said she used drops to condition her eyes before putting the lenses in, but that her normal method to remove them didn’t work as they felt ‘too big’.

She says: ‘I just started loading my eye with eye drops and splashing it with cold water. It felt like I had a piece of something stuck in my eye so I was just rinsing, rinsing and rinsing trying to get it out.

‘My eye was bloodshot red, nothing was coming out of it. I was opening my eye and having my friends take a look with a flashlight to see if they could see anything stuck in it.’

The Masters student woke up the next day saying her eye was ‘burning’ and swollen, which is when she when to hospital and received the devastating news she may have lifelong vision issues.

Jordyn says: ‘The doctor looked at my eye and basically said that the outer layer of my cornea looked like it had been completely removed – and that’s why the pain was so bad.

‘He told my boyfriend “there could be a chance that she could lose eyesight.. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this is really really bad”.’

After being sent home with eye drops, pain killers, antibiotics, and an eye patch, she says her vision for ‘about 20% better’ over the next few days. It’s since gone on to deteriorate, however.

Jordyn adds: ‘Since the incident, right in the centre of my eye there’s always this little area that feels dry in a way and it makes my eye more sensitive so I can barely go outside in the sun without wearing sunglasses. Otherwise they’ll just water like crazy.

‘My vision in my right eye is noticeably worse. It was always not great – I could see some small text from far away but now it’s game over with that. If I’m looking at a notepad in front of me with my right eye I can’t make out the words.’

She’s now trying to heal, and learn to live with the potential that her eyes may continue to deteriorate. She also wants people to think twice before using contacts without proper car.

Jordyn says: ‘It’s scary to me because those are so easily accessible. I think about young kids and how easy is it to use debit cards and go online and order something.’

Dolls Kill and Camden Passage responses

Dolls Kill, a global online fashion brand, said that they were not the manufacturers of the lenses, but confirmed they ‘carefully vet the products and manufacturers’ that they stock.

Camden Passage, the lens manufacturer, said: ‘Contact lenses are medical devices and should be treated as such.

‘In order to avoid injury, instructions for use must be thoroughly followed.. In this case, the consumer did not read the included instructions for use.

‘Clinical studies show that anything that would cause dry eyes such as birth control pills, alcohol or allergy medication could make contact lenses uncomfortable and would increase the chance of an adverse event.

‘Loox contact lenses are manufactured with the utmost quality and care. Our manufacturing is MDSAP and ISO 13485 certified, one of the highest certifications worldwide for the manufacture of contact lenses.

‘We will complete a detailed investigation as required under our ISO certified quality management system and report findings to regulatory authorities.. A post market review is conducted during our yearly audits, and in the 11 years of being in the contact lens business, we have never had an adverse event.

‘All contact lenses, whether decorative or for vision correction, are regulated medical devices. Loox contact lenses are manufactured to the same standards as contact lenses used for vision correction. Cosmetic contact lenses should be treated the same as regular contact lenses in terms on handling and care.

‘Consumers should also be aware of counterfeit or illegal contact lenses. Certified lenses will always come with the contact details of the manufacturer, and detailed instructions for use.’

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