Decorative colored contact lenses used for Halloween can lead to eye injuries, corneal abrasions, infections, vision loss and blindness
As Halloween approaches, some consumers are purchasing eye-changing colored contact lenses such as cat eye contacts or vampire eye contact lenses to add to their Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, those fashion contact lenses could lead to permanent eye damage.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are working to stop and seize these counterfeit contact lenses that often say they are FDA approved when they are not. The ongoing effort to stop these illegally imported cosmetic contact lenses is being called “Operation Double Vision.” Once these decorative contact lenses hit U.S. soil, they are frequently sold in Halloween costume stores, novelty shops, beauty supply stores, salons and over the internet without a prescription. By law, contact lenses require a prescription to be sold. The practice of selling contact lenses without a prescription was made illegal in 2005.
Decorative color contact lenses purchased without a prescription often cause injury to the eyes because they do not fit properly, unlike actual corrective lenses which are fitted by an optometrist, ophthalmologist or eye care specialist. Any improperly fitting contact lens can lead to a scratch on the eye, corneal abrasion, decreased vision, blindness, or keratitis due to bacterial, viral or fungal infection.