Body modification enthusiasts have long aimed to push the boundaries of tattoos, piercings, and the like to the limit. However, one such body modification trend might have pushed the envelope a little too far.
Originally developed in 2007, scleral tattooing, commonly known as eye tattooing, is the act of injecting a small amount of ink onto the white part of the eye, known as the sclera.
The procedure was developed by a body modification artist named Luna Cobra (Howard Rollins), who got the idea for the modification after witnessing a Dutch eye surgeon named Gerrit R. J. Melles perform an eye implant. Using three different methods on three volunteers, Rollins aimed to create a similar technique to the one that eye surgeons use to insert implants to correct vision problems.
Since the inception of scleral tattooing in 2007, many cases have begun to be made against it, both by those that have fallen victim to complications of the procedure and by ophthalmologists that warn of the lasting dangers to the eye that one could contract as a direct result of a scleral tattoo.
The cases against this form of modification have even gone as far as the state government level when in 2009 Oklahoma Senate passed a bill that outlawed the tattooing of the sclera. Indiana, the Canadian province of Ontario, and Nebraska soon followed. Mainstream avoidance like this, as well as numerous professional accounts of scleral tattoos that have caused lasting complications, have begun to raise awareness of the dangers that this procedure can cause. Even some of those who have first-hand accounts of receiving, and administering, scleral tattoos are warning potential recipients of the dangers that lay ahead.
With this in mind, here are 4 quick reasons that you should avoid scleral tattoos, and eye modification in general:
Blindness. There have been numerous reported cases of scleral tattoos leading to blindness. Both an untrained tattoo artist and/or a simple mistake can lead to ink getting into your cornea and blocking, clouding, or doubling your vision.
Infection. Injecting ink that is not sterile can lead to serious infections. Furthermore, infections like Endophthalmitis can be caused by the needle used in the injections not being sterile.
Inflammation, and daily eye pain. An incorrectly inserted needle or a misjudgment on the tattoo artist’s part can leave you with lasting eye pain, and serious inflammation and discomfort of the eye.
Loss of the eye itself. A 2017 case from the University of Alberta, Canada reported a patient who suffered a painful loss of vision while a tattoo artist was injecting ink into his eye. Medical treatment following the incident resulted in the surgeons having to remove the lens of his eye after it had detached due to being damaged by the needle during the procedure.
With these serious, sometimes life-changing side effects in mind, eye modifications like scleral tattoos are simply just not worth the chance. While there have been recipients of scleral tattoos who have suffered no symptoms, every eye tattoo that is performed, even by a professional, is a gamble. By getting a scleral tattoo you are truly rolling the dice, with the future of your eyesight as the bid.
If you are interested in changing the color of your eyes for aesthetic’s sake, talk to your eye doctor about getting a prescription for colored contact lenses, as having your eye doctor involved and purchasing prescription, tailor-made, contact lenses from an approved vendor is a much safer alternative to express yourself through the color of your eyes.