A store in Central Illinois has been busted for illegally selling colored contact lenses.  The store surrendered 41 boxes and 54 single containers of non-prescription colored contact lenses – retail value: $1,600 – to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The department isn’t naming the store or the town because its investigation isn’t complete.
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It won’t be identified unless charges are brought, but spokesman Susan Hofer says you can’t just sell contact lenses off the shelf.  “There’s a law against selling lenses without a prescription. And the prescription can be for un-corrective colored lenses, but they need to be fitted for every individual wearer,” she said.
A violation of this law by a retailer is considered the unlicensed practice of optometry and subject to cease and desist orders and civil fines of up to $10,000.
Hofer says young people sometimes want the cosmetic lenses to match an outfit or as part of a Halloween costume, but they still have to get a prescription. She says the illegal sale is widespread across the state, and the department tries to sniff it out.Hofer says when a user doesn’t have a prescription, he or she hasn’t been fitted for the contacts and may not know how to use them and what the dangers of improper use are, including scratches and eye infections.
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