Halloween is well-known for ghouls, goblins, witches, and haunted houses.
Families enjoy creating and wearing fun costumes to celebrate the holiday,
and going trick-or-treating with the young ones. Though there has always been
cautions and warnings associated with Halloween that go beyond the ghoulish fears, sometimes
the fears extend to
threats that a person may not know exist. We have learned from young age to go
trick-or-treating with an adult or with friends, and to always inspect
our candy to make sure none of the candy is unwrapped or contains anything
menacing inside. However, very rarely are people
warned about the hazards associated with their costumes.
The Dangers of Decorative Contact Lenses
According to the
American Optometric Association, decorative contact lenses, which are considered a staple for many costume-wearers
during Halloween, could actually cause serious sight-loss and damage to
the wearer’s eyes.
Decorative contact lenses, also known as theatre contact lenses, cosmetic contact lenses, or colored
contact lenses, distort and change the wearer’s eyes to appear either
a different color or to make your eyes look akin to a cat’s.
Damage Caused by Defective Decorative Contact Lenses
These lenses,if not used properly, or if created by an unlicensed company, could cause serious damage to
a person’s eyes and vision. First and foremost, the contact lenses
could scratch or cut the top layer of the person’s eyeball. This
is known as a Corneal Abrasion. The contact lenses could also cause an
allergic reaction, an infection, or possible blindness if the lenses are
not made with top-quality materials or are not handled in the same way
prescription contact lenses are. Some decorative contact lenses may be
made with lead-based materials that seep into the wearer’s eye causing
permanent damage or complete blindness. Additionally, even if the contact
lenses are made with the appropriate materials, improper storage or contacts
that are shipped without the proper procedure can accumulate bacteria.
Decorative Contact Lenses are Considered Medical Devices and Shops Found
Selling Them Could be Fined
Decorative contact lenses are still considered to be contact lenses, which
are defined as medical devices, and still require a prescription and professional
fitting to ensure that the contacts fit. Though decorative contact lenses
do not alter a person’s vision, the fact that they are fitting in
your eyeball, still requires that the manufacturers and sellers follow
the FDA rules and regulations regarding contact lenses. Some shops that
sell decorative contact lenses, which are most likely not FDA-certified,
do so illegally and could be fined up to $11,0000 (depending on the state).
One study showed that the majority of the wearers of these contact lenses
during Halloween, estimated at roughly 11% of Halloween-goers, did not
buy their contact lenses through their ophthalmologist, but through an
illegal carrier of the goods.
FDA and Other Agencies Found 100,000 Pairs of Illegal Contact Lenses
This year in particular, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,
have teamed together and seized more than 100,000 pairs of non-FDA approved,
counterfeit and illegal decorative contact lenses. This just goes to the pervasiveness of the problem, in particular the
effect that the black market has during the holiday season, and the influx
of illegal consumer goods that can harm its users.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If you or a loved one was severely injured or went permanently blind as
a result of defective decorative contact lenses purchased through a medical
professional, it is important to consult with an experienced personal
injury attorney. Please call the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.