DENVER - Several federal agencies are investigating counterfeit decorative contact lenses that could cause permanent eye injuries to people who wear them in their Halloween costumes.
By law, a prescription is required to purchase contact lenses. Any store selling lenses without requiring a prescription is breaking the law.
"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," FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Director John Roth said in a press release about the investigation.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say they are working with the FDA, Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seize counterfeit contact lenses, illegally imported decorative lenses, and lenses unapproved by the FDA. Their operation is being called "Operation Double Vision."
"What's truly scary is the damage these counterfeit lenses can do to your eyes for a lifetime," said HSI Executive Associate Director James Dinkins.
Along with the press release announcing their consumer warning, the agencies shared photos of eye damage related to the counterfeit lenses including iritis, keratitis and corneal ulcers.