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Vampire eyes

October 27, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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Given the popularity of the Twilight series of books and movies, I am not surprised to look in the eyes of a younger person and see vampire or zombie eyes staring back. I first saw these crazy contacts on a couple of aides here. So I did some research. Lady Gaga had enhanced eyes in a photo. Most thought they were computer-generated. But because others wanted eyes like hers, they found them on Asian websites. Circle contact lenses are popular there because they make the Asian eye look larger. The lenses fit on the iris and part of the white of the eye.

It is illegal to sell prescription or cosmetic contact lenses in the United States without the assistance of an eye professional. Optometrists and ophthalmologists also say that such lenses can be harmful, particularly if they cut off too much oxygen to the eye. But no matter; high school and college students have been wearing them since 2010. They have arrived in small-town America.

One nurse here (who used to be in aide) came to work with weird eyes a few months ago. She did not tip anybody off,—no residents, anyway—that she would be wearing them. So when she stared into my eyes with her kind of “tiger eye” colored contacts, I was a bit startled.

When I first saw them, I resisted the impulse to laugh. I thought a more serious approach was better. I want her to know I care about getting the right medicine and want her to pay attention to what she is doing.

A few weeks ago when I had lunch with my sister and my best friend, I brought up these strange contact lenses. They acted as if I was an old fuddy-duddy. They should not cast aspersions, however. My best friend and my sister are 65 and 63, respectively. They admitted they do not like the weird contacts either and assured me I would get used to them. They also said that the contacts are not harmful. But are we sure about that?

I remember being young and getting my hair colored for the first time at 18. I got my ears pierced at 21—just once. I never did anything as weird as these contacts. I wonder whether law enforcement will ever require a driver’s eye color to match the color on the license.

The nurse I mentioned no longer wears the weird contacts. She told me she got tired of them. But we do have one aide who wears the vampire type, which is a bit more discreet.

Wearing these strange contacts says something about young people. It may just be they are adventurous or they want to dramatize their eyes as actors have done in movies for decades. But to me, it is one thing to want Elizabeth Taylor’s violet eyes and quite another to have Dracula’s vampire eyes.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...