Doctors warn of dangers of colored contacts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Doctors warn of dangers of colored contacts

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)

As Halloween approaches and you plan your costume, a reminder from the state of Illinois that purchasing colored contact lenses from anyone other than a licensed eye care professional or pharmacist is dangerous.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says illegally purchased colored contacts have flooded the retail market during Halloween and are most often found at malls, beauty supply stores and via online websites.

These lenses are often made overseas in non-FDA approved facilities with tinting materials that may be toxic to the eye.

Without a proper examination and fitting, colored contacts can damage the eye including blindness.

In addition to scratches from ill fitting lenses, bacteria build within the eye very rapidly and can cause infections. While some infections look like pink eye, contact lenses can cause eye ulcers which must be treated with a strong antibiotic.

If left untreated, ulcers can cause partial or total, irreversible blindness.

Sales of contact lenses to consumers without a valid prescription are considered the unlicensed practice of optometry and subject to cease and desist orders and civil fines of up to $10,000.

Illinois residents are encouraged to notify state officials if they see lenses for sale at retail outlets that do not require a prescription from a licensed eye-care professional.

You can call the consumer hotline at 1-888-473-4858 to file a complaint.  

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