JewelEye - Innovative Body Piercing Update

Update: (Apr-26-2004) JewelEye is eyeball jewelry; small gems or other shiny objects are actually implanted in the white of your eye. The American Academy of Opthalmology, with 27,000 member physicians and surgeons, finally spoke out officially about eye jewelry on April 13th:

"My concern would be that it might cause foreign body granuloma or scar tissue," said Academy spokesperson, Wayne Bizer, D.O., a comprehensive ophthalmologist from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. "The implant could also allow bacteria to get beneath the conjunctiva causing a serious vision-threatening infection or possibly erode the sclera, the white part of the eye." Dr. Bizer added removing the implant may prove difficult if any of these problems are present.


(From The latest fashion must-have - eyeball jewelry via Gizmodo.)

Piercing the eye seems extreme; what about tattooing the eye? Actually, corneal tattooing has been done for more than 2,000 years. It was a frequently performed procedure in the late 19th century to correct defects such as corneal scarring and leucomas, which usually resulted in blindness. However, this was not done for decoration; people who had these unsightly corneal defects had tattoos applied to give their blind eye a more normal appearance. Contact lenses do the same job today, so the procedure is seldom performed. Find out more (including pictures) at Eyeball Tattooing.

The JewelEye options include small (3.5 mm) pieces of jewellry, like a half-moon or heart, into the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that lines the outer surface of the eyeball.

The Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery says that it has a waiting list for the patented procedure.

Technically oriented individuals may feel the need for something less decorative and more functional. SF fans may remember the phantoscope from Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age:

"You could get a phantoscopic system planted directly on your retinas...You could even get telaesthetics patched into your spinal column at key vertebrae. But this was said to have its drawbacks ..." (More.)

Find whether or not there are more extreme procedures than this at the Body Modification Ezine: Body Piercing Pictures and Experiences gallery page. For something a little less permanent, try the Temporary Tatoos and Custom Made Tatoos page.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/26/2004)

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