Duck cheerleaders pop Oregon-themed contact lenses in eyes

      Update: The Oregon Board of Optometry contacted KMTR NewsSource 16 after this story aired at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 14.

      The board's president said anyone selling contacts without a medical license and a valid prescription is violating state health laws and can be fined up to $10,000.

      The board's stance on color contacts is that it does not recommend them in any instance.

      Original story

      EUGENE, Ore. - School spirit spilled forth from the eyes of Oregon cheerleaders this weekend to a chorus of "cool!" mixed with concern.

      The Oregon athletic department said some of the cheerleaders wore the custom contact lenses on the bus ride up to Seattle for the Washington game.

      The cheerleaders were not allowed to wear the contacts on the field, the athletic department told KMTR NewsSource 16.

      Some of the cheerleaders were uneasy about the contacts and declined to try them, the athletic department said.

      Non-prescription color lenses have been around for a while. A local eye doctor advises caution.

      "It's those that have no experience with it and assume that it's a harmless device," said Dr. John Haines with Oregon iLasik & Refractive. "Those are the ones that raise the hairs on the backs of our necks."

      Haines said non-prescription lenses can cause ulcers and pain. Even rare cases of blindness have been known to occur.

      "The advice we give to all of our contact lense patients is if you have a red, light sensitive, painful eye, don't put a contact lense in," he said. "There's something that nature is trying to tell you."

      Halloween stores in town told KMTR NewsSource 16 they don't carry colored contacts to avoid possible medical liability.

      Lazar's Bazar in downtown started selling the lenses 6 months ago. Lazar said the store doesn't sell the lenses to kids.

      "Kids come, but we just don't sell them to kids," Lazar said. " That's our thing, you know: we don't sell to anybody under 18 without ID."

      Lazar said so far he hasn't had any customer complaints about the lenses - and the closer to Halloween, the more people have been buying them.