16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
Once every few weeks, patients come in for their annual eye examinations with contact lens prescriptions that have been expired for over 4 years. Every time I ask patients how they are able to purchase their contact lenses , the reply is "online , on the internet". Most of the time it is 1800 contact lens but I get several different online companies. As an eye care professional it is disheartening to see my patients coming in with conditions such as corneal neovascularization secondary to over wear of contact lenses. since their eyes were not being checked annually patient are unaware of it and once they are finally seen,it is too late because the damage is too extensive to ever be able to wear contact lenses ever again or perform laser eye surgery. I have had several patients lose vision secondary to such poorly monitored practice of online contact lens sales. I have also had numerous number of these patients come in with other conditions such as giant papillary conjunctivitis which eventually led to corneal ulcers secondary to continuously having access to contact lenses for years without an annual comprehensive examination . All of these conditions could have easily been avoided had these companies that are selling these contact lenses followed a protocol. A number of patients tell me that it is common practice by these online contact lens companies to tell the consumer to leave their fax number as the doctor's fax so nobody would respond to their requests. This practice needs to be fixed soon.