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The Risks Associated With Decorative Contact Lenses During the Halloween Holiday

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.

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