Non-Prescription Contacts for a Halloween Costume? Lenses Could Blind You

First Posted: Oct 24, 2013 10:40 AM EDT

As Halloween approaches, many may be perfecting their costumes for a party. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that non-prescription contact lenses--possibly used to enhance spooky look--can make eyes more prone to infections.

Along with Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, various health organization are working on the correction of illegal decorative lenses that may be found in the street or online.

The effort, known as "Operation Double Vision," works by warning residents not to purchase constant lenses from any store, including ones found online, without a prescription. The law requires that a prescription is used to purchase contact lenses, FDA officials warn.

"Our concern is that consumers who buy and use decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription can run significant risks of eye injuries, including blindness," John Roth, director of FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, said. "It is always better to involve a qualified eye care professional and protect your vision."

While some may think that contact lenses enhance their scary look, James Dinkins, the executive director of the Homeland Security Investigations, warns that these counterfeit lenses can create irreversible damage to your eyes.

"Even though Halloween approaches, consumers shouldn't let a good deal or great costume blind them to the dangers of counterfeit decorative contact lenses," Dinkins said, via a statement.  "What's truly scary is the damage these counterfeit lenses can do to your eyes for a lifetime."

So whether you're dressing up as a vampire or witch, a pumpkin or a sexy kitten, skip the fancy eye-wear. Your eyesight will thank you.

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