New Watchdog Group Formed to Prevent Illegal Contact Lens Sales

The world is a different place than it was just a decade ago. Now you can buy just about anything online.

In some ways, I love this convenience. If I can’t find the chewable version of the vitamin I give my children, presto, I look online and can have it shipped to my home in four days, flat. If I need new shoes for my son who happened to ruin his playing in the mud (hypothetically speaking), I can open my iPad and have a new pair waiting on our front porch by the next morning. In so many ways this is mind-blowing and amazing.

But, convenience sometimes carries with it a downside. That is, we now have access to certain things online that we probably shouldn’t be ordering alone. One such example of this is contact lenses.

Woman reading digital tablet

The stories of individuals who have gone blind or almost totally lost their vision because of using illegally sold contact lenses are everywhere. And, friends, they are true. Buying illegal contacts and wearing them is a dangerous game. Saving $30 but losing your sight for life is not an equal trade-off, by any stretch.

In many cases, the people falling for this scam are young. Teens and twenty-something’s trying to save a few dollars or wanting contact lenses without wanting to involve their parents. They order or buy the lenses without the care of a licensed optometrist and their eyes pay for it.

Because of the severity of this issue and because of the prevalence of illegal contact lens operations worldwide, a brand new watchdog group has been organized by the American Optometric Association (AOA) to specifically seek out illegal contact lens sellers online and in physical shopping locations. The group is organized by the AOA’s Contact Lens and Cornea Section and will research violations of federal law related to the sale of contact lenses.

Beyond just identifying the violators, the group will also report the incidents and take legal action. Their goal is to take these contact sellers who ignore state and federal regulations and put them out of business. According to the AOA’s spokesmen, the organization is committed to protecting the public’s health by taking strides to stop and prevent the illegal sale of contact lenses.

If you’ve been tempted to buy illegal contact lenses, I hope you’ll be aware of the dangers. Talk to your children about not taking the risk either. If price is your concern, then visit your closest America’s Best and I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how affordable legally sold contact lenses can be. Getting the lenses while under the care of a licensed doctor of optometry is the only sure way to protect your eye health.

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