Crackdown on sale of Halloween contact lenses

CHICAGO — Illinois regulators have confiscated $1,600 worth of novelty contact lenses aimed at the Halloween market because they are illegal to sell without a prescription.

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced Tuesday that a convenience store in central Illinois surrendered more than 40 boxes of the non-prescription lenses.

Department spokeswoman Susan Hofer says a school nurse tipped off regulators after a student suffered an eye injury caused by the lenses. Hofer says some confiscated lenses are solid yellow or solid black, and some have eight ball or flower patterns.

Optometrists report the lenses can cause infections and scratches. In Illinois, consumer sale of lenses without a prescription is considered the unlicensed practice of optometry. Such sales are subject to cease-and-desist orders and fines of up to $10,000.