Federal agencies: Beware of colored contact lenses

WASHINGTON - Federal officials are warning the public to beware of colored contact lenses with Halloween coming up.

The decorative lenses sold at novelty and beauty supply stores are illegal and can cause eye injury and blindness, said Carl Rusnok with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Agencies involved in "Operation Double Vision" include the Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and ICE.

Other places federal officials are saying not to buy contact lenses are Halloween stores, beauty salons or online if it does not require a prescription.

Contact lenses by law, require a prescription, Rusnok said. This creates the requirement to see an eye doctor and have the lenses correctly fitted to your eyes.

"Contact lenses are a medical device," Dr. Glenda Brown, president of the Georgia Optometric Association said, and lenses bought illegally can cause infection and corneal ulcers.

If you still want colored lenses, you can go to an eye doctor, get an eye exam and prescription where you can decide to buy them at the doctor's office or go online to discount stores.

If you wore illegal lenses and experience eye pain, redness, or decrease in vision, you should see an eye doctor immediately, according to federal officials.

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