This message is so important that we're skipping our customary lead-in language and getting right to the point: whatever you do this Halloween, DON'T use special effect contact lenses purchased without a prescription. The bizarre looking contact lenses being sold online, at flea markets and convenience stores are dangerous, illegal, and can cause serious eye injuries.
Sellers of illegal lenses are exploiting unsuspecting buyers without regard to their safety. Illegal lenses have been known to cause eye infections, conjunctivitis, impaired vision and even blindness. Trafficking in illegal lenses is big business. Earlier this month, a cooperative operation of several U.S. agencies called "operation Double Visions" resulted in the seizure of more than 20,000 pairs of counterfeit and decorative contact lenses.
To be safe, people should only use FDA approved contact lenses that they buy through a licensed provider who requires a prescription. The popular Halloween retailer Spirit Halloween offers FDA approved special effect lenses, but they won't sell them to you without a prescription. Given the risks of cheaper illegal lenses, pay the added cost and protect your eyes.
Parents, check with your kids to make sure they have not purchased any illegal lenses and make sure they understand the dangers. If you or your child develops eye redness or irritation after using any of these lenses, get to an eye doctor immediately and take the lenses that were used with you. If it turns out that the lenses were illegal, keep the lenses and all purchase information as evidence and report the illegal sale to the FDA.
Heintz & Becker is watching out for the safety of our readers and hopes that no one is injured this Halloween, whether by illegal special effect contacts lenses or through someone's negligent driving or other actions. We have taken special interest in eye injuries due to illegal contact lenses and urge you to call us if you or a member of your family has been harmed by the seller of illegal lenses.
Source(s): The Tribune, "Colorado ICE officials warning public about decorative contact lenses", posted October 30, 2015; FDA, "Buying Contact Lenses"