16 CFR Part 315; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request; Contact Lens Rule: FTC Project No. R511995
The cornea is the clear window to the eye, upon which a contact lens fits. The cornea is one of the few tissues of the body that gets its oxygen supply directly from air, not from our blood supply. This makes sense to patients, as to get oxygen from our circulatory system the cornea would have to have blood vessels running through it. If a contact lens is not fit properly on a cornea, is not cared for properly, or is not worn properly, it can cause corneal hypoxia and possibly lead to inflammatory responses and even infectious processes. The lack of oxygen can even cause new blood vessels (corneal neovascularization) to grow into the cornea. These changes can damage our most precious gift- our sight. If I offered you a million dollars for your eyes, would you take it? I doubt it. I have patients with damaged eyes that would give you every penny they have to "buy" another pair of eyes- which is obviously unattainable. As a doctor who takes care of patients every day, I do all I can to insure that they do not only see well today, but that they also see well for the future. A yearly eye examination also allows eye doctors to detect glaucoma, hypertension, retinal tears, and other significant vision and life-threatening issues that might have otherwise not been diagnosed. As a commission that makes key decisions regarding how millions of citizens of the United States receive health care, I hope that you have the same goal as I live every day. Protecting the relationship between eye doctor and patient and maintaining the close supervision of Contact Lens design, that is so critical to a patient's eye health, is essential to protecting your citizens- my patients. I ask that you maintain one year expiration dates on contact lens prescriptions to allow for regular eye health assessment and that you maintain and closely monitor contact lens prescription verification by sellers. Some may paint this as a monetary issue, but for me, it is the only way for me to protect the future vision of my patients. Even a million dollars can't replace their precious sense of sight. Thank you in advance for your consideration on these issues key to my patients. Sincerely, Allen H. Bandy, Jr., O.D.