Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a new consumer warning regarding the serious side effects associated with use of Halloween contact lenses and other costume-based lenses. The FDA is reminding consumers that choosing the wrong lenses may increase the risk for serious eye damage, including the onset of infections and even vision loss.

Federal regulators are also reminding the public that contact lenses are medical devices and should not be purchased without a prescription. In light of the upcoming Halloween holiday, the demand for costume contact lenses, or fashion contact lenses, is concerning, as these over-the-counter products are sold illegally, without a prescription.

The FDA is urging consumers to buy fashion lenses only when prescribed by their optometrist or ophthalmologist. Purchasing decorative lenses from unreliable vendors is dangerous, as these products are of poor quality and can cause issues such as redness, eye pain and decreased vision. Moreover, the agency suggests that anyone experiencing unusual or painful side effects due to the use of contact lenses to visit their doctor immediately.

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