Feds: Don't wear prescription-free colored contact lenses

With Halloween approaching, officials are warning the public about the dangers associated with counterfeit decorative contact lenses. The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are working together to seize illegal and harmful versions of correctable vision lenses and decorative or color contact lenses that are illegally imported and distributed throughout the United States. This is a photo of a damaged eys from a counterfeit contact lens.

October 29, 2013 5:33:02 AM PDT
Federal health officials are renewing their warning against prescription-free colored contact lenses for the Halloween season.

Officials warn that counterfeit contact lenses can cause immediate and long-lasting damage to a user's eyes, including blindness.

Many vanity and novelty colored contact lenses can be found for purchase at costume and beauty supply stores, as well as online. It is illegal to purchase or sell contact lenses without a prescription, and federal officials say that non-prescription lenses can be extremely dangerous.

"A lifetime of good vision is so much more important than a cheap Halloween accessory," FDA official John Roth said in a statement.

Anyone who wants to wear colored contact lenses should consult a licensed eye doctor and get a prescription.