16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
On a daily basis, I see patients of all ages and backgrounds. Each person that comes into my office for an examination with me is a completely different person. Therefore, in the course of the examination, I discuss different options for treatment of their various complaints based on what works best for that individual. I give my recommendations, and patients are very pleased to see that I take their specific situation into consideration when making my decisions, not only for their overall ocular and systemic health, but also for their satisfaction with their exam. I carry this individual approach over into the contact lens portion of my examinations. Some patients are not good candidates for contact lens wear, and therefore we discuss other options of visual correction to help them get optimal vision. Many patients do request to initiate or continue contact lens wear, and I happily discuss all aspects of contact lenses with them. We discuss the comfort of the various lens options, the amount of oxygen reaching the cornea, the length of time a lens can safely be worn, the types of activities that can or cannot be done while wearing contact lenses, difficulties that the patient may have experienced previously with certain lenses, visual expectations with different types of lenses, and the list goes on. All of this even before the actual contact lens prescription has been determined. My patients and I decide on an appropriate lens together, making sure that we choose the very best option available to that individual for enhanced visual outcome and maximum health benefit to their eyes. It is very important to obtain a correct and accurate prescription and ensure that the lens will fit on the eye. However, it is equally as valuable to choose a lens specific to that patient in order to maintain a healthy eye with good comfort and vision while wearing the contact lenses, and that is virtually impossible to do without specifying a brand and type of lens for the individual patient. At each recommended yearly examination, I review these things with my patients. We discuss any new problems that the patient may be noticing since their last exam, and decide upon changes that may be beneficial to them if necessary. I thoroughly examine the ocular tissues to ensure that the patient's eyes are still healthy while wearing lenses, and then I tell my patients what I am seeing. This is as important as any other aspect of the examination, because bodies and lifestyles change on a daily basis. And while one lens may have worked well for several years, now the patient is finding difficulty due to a recent change in general health or lifestyle. In order to provide the best, and most up to date care for my patients and their health, I recommend a yearly examination to re-evaluate their eye health, including the above mentioned contact lens exam, and my patients are very thankful for this. As optometrists, we understand the importance of maintaining ocular and systemic health, and hope that this will be taken into great consideration for the future of our patients. There is an urgent need to ensure that our patients are given the best care by the most thorough verification process when third parties are involved, as this often times results in improper lens wear for our patients resulting in new infections or declining ocular health when not handled appropriately. Only eye care professionals are capable of determining the most accurate and appropriate contact lens for our individual patients, and this should be given great weight for the best interest of our patients.