16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
Contact lenses are medical devices, not an item anyone can go online and order. They require an appropriate fit and follow-up to assess the health of the eye with the contact lens. Patients can have toxic reactions to a particular material or brand of contact lenses as well as ulcers, infectious keratitis and scarring which can in turn lead to blindness. Another concern with a patient ordering whichever brand they want online is that even when a contact lens has the same parameters (base curve, diameter) they still do NOT fit the same. At times several different lenses with the same parameters must be tried in order to find a fit that the patient is comfortable with and one that provides appropriate vision and fit on the eye itself. The importance of an annual follow-up for ALL contact lens wearers is to assess the health, including catching early signs of overwear of the contact lenses to help save the patient's vision and prevent blindness. In addition if contact lenses prescriptions OR glasses prescriptions are extended the patient will not return for annual exams as directed. A patient can be completely asymptomatic and have a choroidal melanoma (CANCER) in the eye without knowing it. We assess for signs of diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol (ALL extremely common conditions in our population). We need to keep the contact lens prescriptions valid for ONE YEAR and glasses for TWO years to better monitor our patient's ocular health.