FDA Says Don’t Use Illegal Colored Contact Lenses

white colored contact lensesAs Halloween approaches, holiday costume sales have begun. The FDA is reminding consumers that one popular Halloween costume accessory — illegal colored contact lenses — should not be part of your fun. According to the FDA, all contact lenses require regulation, but some colored contact lenses sold for costume use have not been approved for safety or effectiveness.

There are a growing number of companies marketing illegal contact lenses to unsuspecting customers through online sites and retailers who may not be aware of the dangers and regulations attached to these products. The FDA says consumers can remain safe by purchasing colored contact lenses only from well-known contact lens brands.

Lenses meant to make eyes glow in the dark, change color, or create “cat eyes” by appearing to change pupil shape have caused infections and other sometimes-permanent vision damage. It is illegal to sell these lenses without a prescription from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, but some retailers are not aware of this.

In addition, using lenses for the first time without oversight of an eye care professional can lead to serious injuries, including blindness. 

Enjoy your Halloween! Remember to practice social distancing, avoid crowds, and stay safe — including avoiding the use of unauthorized contact lenses.