One woman, who purchased tinted, non-prescription color contact lenses without a prescription at an Atlanta flea market for about $20, ended up with a serious eye infection requiring medical treatment.
Other colored contact lenses were being sold illegally in convenience stores and gas stations, the news team found (see video).
U.S. federal law requires that all contact lenses, even those without corrective lens power (called “plano” lenses) that are worn purely for cosmetic reasons, cannot be sold or purchased without a valid contact lens prescription written by a licensed eye care provider.
“Doctors say decorative contacts that are not prescribed or professionally fitted can cause permanent injury,” says WSB-TV’s Tom Regan in the investigative report.
According to the Georgia Optometric Association, which assisted the WSB-TV news team with its investigation, it is a felony to sell contact lenses without a license.