Tips on Protecting Eyes from Injury, Infection
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 41 million Americans wear contact lenses. However, data from a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that of contact lens-related corneal infections reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), close to 20 percent of patients had “a central corneal scar, a decrease in visual acuity, or required a corneal transplant following the event.” In addition, more than 25 percent of the infections were accompanied by “modifiable factors, including sleeping in contact lenses or poor contact lens hygiene.”
Prevent Blindness has recently declared October as Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public on the best ways to obtain, care for and use contact lenses. The non-profit group has a dedicated webpage with free information at: http://www.preventblindness.org/wearing-contact-lenses.
Contact lens sales are regulated by both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Prevent Blindness reminds the public that it is illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses without a prescription. Even if the lenses are cosmetic or non-correcting, they are still classified as medical devices.
Prevent Blindness recommends the following tips for contact lens care:
To help keep Halloween fun and festive, Prevent Blindness also recommends that costume-wearers:
“For many, contact lenses are a safe an effective way to improve vision,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We urge everyone to be cautious when using contact lenses, whether for prescription or cosmetic purposes, and to always follow the instructions of an eye care professional.”
For more information on contact lens or Halloween eye safety, please call 1-800-331-2020.