16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
Contact lenses are medical devices that require frequent follow up by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Possible problems associated with contact lens wear can occur: Amoebic keratitis: A potentially blinding infection caused by a common organism found in tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, etc. Bacterial keratitis: An infection caused by bacteria found in soil, water, sewage and plants. Fungal keratitis: A serious and painful corneal disease caused by a fungal organism. Corneal ulcer: An open sore in the outer layer of the cornea. Although rare, untreated corneal infections may result in a corneal ulcer and are extremely serious. Many of these problems occur because patients do not follow their doctors instructions. To improve eye health associated with these and other contact lens related problems, contact lenses Rxs should have an expiration date of no longer than 1 year and since brands of contact lenses differ in many ways, a prescription for contact lenses must have the brand name (unbranding will increase contact lens eye health problems)... the consumer and retailers should not decide the brand they want to choose since their non-medical based decisions could put their eye's health at risk. The doctor must continue to verify prescriptions. Unfortunately, it has been shown that retailers often make mistakes that could lead to the wrong or outdated lenses being given the patient...this could also cause eye health problems. Finally prescriptions for glasses should be valid for no more than 2 years for adults and 1 year for children. Adults, especially those 40 and older, frequently require changes in their lenses so that their quality of life is maintained or is improved. As for children, their visual system changes so rapidly, that to have a pair of spectacles valid for more than 1 year is incredibly shortsighted (and yes, I chose this phrase deliberately). Please do not let those who do not have the patient's eye health and welfare at the forefront dictate how contact lenses and spectacles should be prescribed. Thank you.