Officials warn against non-prescription cosmetic contacts ahead of Halloween


LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 12: Actress Shaun Robinson arrives at the premiere of Summit Entertainment’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS (WDTN) – As Halloween approaches, Ohio officials are warning the public about the hazards of wearing decorative contact lenses with your costumes.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness and the Ohio Vision Professionals Board, are warning consumers that wearing these lenses without a valid prescription can potentially damage your eyes.

“Wearing contacts without a prescription could cause damage to a person’s eyes,” says DeWine. “Non-prescription contacts can add creativity to a costume or bring convenience to a person’s routine, but they can also cause serious harm. I encourage consumers to buy contacts from a licensed eye car professional. Your eyesight is too important to risk using non-prescription contacts.”

The FDA says that contact lenses are not considered over-the-counter devices and companies that sell them as such are misbranding the devices and violating Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations by selling contact lenses without having a valid prescription.

These dangerous costume accessories can be found online, in costume stores, tattoo parlors, beauty supply stores, truck stops, wig shops, gas stations, convenience stores, or thrift stores.

“It may be tempting to create a unique look for Halloween or other social events by changing the look of your eyes. But be aware that using cosmetic contact lenses accessed without a prescription from an eye doctor or borrowed from someone else is asking for trouble. Infections, scarring, and even blindness can result,” says Sherry Williams, President and CEO of The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness.

She says you should always visit a licensed eye care professional to be fitted for cosmetic contact lenses.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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