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Woman Almost Blinded By Eyeball Tattooing Gone Wrong

Photo from Catt Gallinger

A 24-year-old Canadian model is warning others of the dangers of getting the eyeball tattooed, after the procedure left her partially blinded and crying purple tears.

The tattooing process performed on Catt Gallinger was meant to tint her sclera, the white part of the eye, with purple ink. It’s a new trend that appears to be gaining popularity worldwide. But something went wrong, causing her pain and possible permanent eye damage, Newsweek reports.

In a post Gallinger shared on Facebook, she described how she went in to get her eyeballs tinted. The artist reportedly did not dilute the ink, injected too much into her eye, and did not have enough injection sites. These caused her eye to swell and the ink to start streaming out.

Gallinger knew something was wrong immediately after, and was rushed to the hospital. She received antibiotic eyedrops for a week and a half, but they did not treat the problem. Instead, her eye swelled completely shut. The steroid drops supposedly caused the injection to form a clump around the cornea area, forcing Gallinger to see a specialist at the risk of becoming permanently blind.

Dr. David Flug, an ophthalmologist working in New York, says this trend of tinting the eye is unsafe and very dangerous. Flug said,

Basically my feeling is that it’s insane. It can be done, but it has no long-term testing for safety. You have to be nuts to do it.

Luna Cobra, the man credited with making the procedure known around 10 years ago, also agrees that the procedure is dangerous and is working to help make it illegal. “I’ve been trying to ban this. I think it’s super important that this becomes illegal,” Cobra said. “To be clear, this is happening all the time, all over the world.”

Cobra said he was the first artist to have mastered the procedure and copycats began replicating his work, with disastrous consequences. “I didn’t think people would think so lightly of this [tattooing the eye],” Cobra said. “I thought they would take it more serious. It looks like people are not taking it so serious.”

Gallinger has since updated her post to say that while her vision has improved, doctors have told her that she will never regain complete eyesight in the affected eye. She is sharing her story to warn others who might be thinking of getting the same procedure done.

Or just don’t do it at all.

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