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HEALTH Issues Consumer Advisory About Decorative Contact Lenses

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) advises Rhode Islanders that decorative contact lenses (i.e., theatrical opaque contact lenses) are being sold in Rhode Island to people who do not have a prescription. HEALTH received a report of a high-school student who had corneal abrasions and temporary vision impairment from wearing decorative contact lenses that were purchased in a convenience store. An individual must have a prescription from an eye-care professional for any type of contact lenses.

Contact lenses that are purchased without a prescription can cause severe eye infections, corneal abrasions, or blindness. Anyone who has purchased contact lenses without a prescription should not use the product and should throw them away. Anyone who has recently used decorative contact lenses and is experiencing eye problems should contact an eye-care professional for evaluation. In addition, it is illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses to an individual who does not have a prescription for the lenses.

HEALTH has confiscated decorative contact lenses from retail locations that were being sold without a prescription. To report eye problems due to decorative contact lenses or the sale of contact lenses without a prescription, call HEALTH’s Complaint Unit at 222-5200 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) or e-mail

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