• Want people to notice your eyes? Get a prescription Friday, October 30, 2009


    Short-term Halloween costume stores, novelty shops, flea markets, and seedy web sites don’t necessarily have consumer safety as their highest priority.  And if they’re selling contact lenses to a buyer who doesn’t have a prescription for them, they’re breaking the law…and putting the consumer at risk.

    The man pictured above is not the result of some genetic experiment gone wrong.  He’s wearing “cosmetic contact lenses,” which, even if they don’t correct vision, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration the same as standard contact lenses.  The Federal Trade Commission requires business that sell contacts to verify the buyer has a prescription from a medical professional.

    Since variations of these lenses seem to be especially popular at Halloween, the California Board of Optometry recently issued a reminder that improper use of contacts can cause eye problems, including corneal ulcers that can in extreme cases lead to blindness without proper treatment.  Improper fitting and inadequate maintenance can create problems, and Board of Optometry officials say legal sellers will provide instruction in the care and use of contacts.

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