With Halloween celebrations in season, some Virginia residents might want to purchase colored contact lenses to add an extra wow factor to their Halloween costumes. However, the FDA warns consumers that not all colored contact lenses are FDA approved, and purchasing contacts that aren't approved could result in vision problems. Officials say that the damage that unregulated contact lenses can do to people's eyes can be significant, even resulting in blindness.
The FDA and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection are reportedly working together on what they have dubbed 'Operation Double Vision" to seize counterfeit contact lenses that are illegally imported into the country and not approved by the FDA. A spokesperson for Homeland Security Investigations stated that consumers shouldn't let the allure of a great Halloween costume blind them to the possible consumer injury they could incur from using unregulated contacts.
The FDA offered consumers tips to keep them from purchasing counterfeit contact lenses, even by accident. First of all, the agency says that all reputable contacts must be purchased with a prescription written by an eye care specialist. Consumers should refrain from purchasing contacts at Halloween party shops, novelty stores, beauty stores and through online retailers, especially if they don't to have a prescription to purchase them. Additionally, it is illegal for consumers to purchase contact lenses from optometrists, ophthalmologists or other licensed opticians without valid prescriptions.
People who do inadvertently purchase colored contact lenses and experience eye problems or blindness from them might be able to launch lawsuits against the manufacturers of the defective products. Personal injury attorneys might be able to assist consumers in filing their claims and securing settlements for them.
Source: Fox News, "FDA warns against 'illegal' colored contact lenses for Halloween", October 24, 2013