Contacts with consequences?

WTMJ News Team

Contacts with consequences?

CREATED Oct. 23, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 23, 2012

MILWAUKEE- An innocent, over-the-counter purchase could end up costing you thousands in medical bills.

And what you're buying could be illegally sold.

They transform your eyes and change their color, but some of the contacts aren't beautiful at all.  They look like cool contact lenses, but what you don't see, is the hidden danger when they're illegally sold.

With a hidden camera, the I-TEAM spotted them at multiple stores throughout the Milwaukee area, even at salons.

"We have a lot of girls, you know, who want to change their eye color," says an employee of one store.

It seems innocent enough, but when the I-TEAM confronts some of the illegal sellers -- they want nothing to do with the I-TEAM

The I-TEAM's Steve Chamraz: "Do you sell these?"
Employee: "No."
The I-TEAM's Steve Chamraz: "You don't sell these?"
Employee: No. I'm not saying anything."
The I-TEAM's Steve Chamraz: "You do sell these.  We bought these here."

With Halloween less than a week away, illegal contact lenses are more popular than ever.  But spooky lenses could mean sickly eyes.

Angie wanted to be a cat for Halloween.

"I thought they'd be cool for a Halloween costume," says Angie.  "I tried them out."

But she didn't want a cut on her eye.

She went and saw Dr. Eric Knight after only wearing her cat eye lenses for one day.  She didn't realize it at the time, but the contacts that gave her the infection were sold illegally.

"Bacteria took hold and started eating through the tissue," explains Dr. Knight of Knight Vision and Glaucoma Specialists.  "You've got places out there and people out there that are looking to make a quick dollar and they're breaking the law.  They're breaking federal law."

The I-TEAM took a hidden cam inside Lavish Salon in Greendale.

Undercover producer: "So I can just put these in, I don't need a prescription or doctors?"
Employee: "No."

In fact, the FDA says that is illegal, even though the contacts are FDA approved.  The FDA only approves the contacts if they are being sold by a doctor.

The I-TEAM has been in contact the FDA.  If you find contacts being sold without a prescription, you can report that illegal activity by clicking here.

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