Remember the last time you bought underwear from a random website, at the gas station or a flea market? Perhaps the packaging was questionable, or the quality was poor, but they were a perfect color you were looking. You examine them close and wonder, "Where did these even come from?"
Extreme? It's not as far-fetched as it sounds, considering many Americans detrimentally play this scenario out every Halloween, not over underwear but decorative, costume contact lenses. In fact, 26 percent of Americans who have worn noncorrective, decorative contact lenses purchased them without a prescription from a source other than their eye doctor. And while questionable underwear certainly has its own issues, questionably acquired contact lenses can cause serious eye health issues or even permanent damage.
Whether corrective or decorative, all contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that means they require a prescription from an eye doctor before touching your eyes. Likewise, it means those knock-off, costume contact lenses packaged next to lottery tickets at the convenience store aren't only of questionable legality, but they also could be dangerous.